The second debate between US President Donald Trump and Joe Biden has been officially canceled. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the body responsible for conducting the United States presidential debates, announced on Friday that the second debate, which was scheduled to be held on October 15, would not proceed as planned.
This news comes a day after the US President refused to take part in the debate when it was moved to a virtual format despite concerns over his COVID-19 diagnosis. Trump's campaign asked for the remaining two debates to be pushed back. However, Biden's campaign objected to changing the dates and approved of the virtual format.
Although the second presidential debate stands canceled, Trump will resume campaigning on Saturday. According to Fox News, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley sent out a memorandum on Thursday stating that Trump can return to public engagements on Saturday.
Campaign Rally in Florida on Monday
Trump announced his first in-person events since being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, including a speech at the White House on Saturday and a campaign rally in Florida on Monday. According to the Guardian, the White House event will see the US President discussing law and order, and he is expecting to address a crowd from the White House balcony.
The decision by the CPD follows a disagreement between the two candidates over the second debate's format. The commission had previously announced that the debate would take place virtually after Trump tested positive for the deadly virus. However, Trump declined to participate in a virtual debate event, while Biden advocated for it for safety reasons.
Due to the ongoing health crisis, the CPD said it would not reverse its decision, citing a number of caution and health concerns, especially for the town-hall-style debate that was to feature questions from voters. "It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22," the commission said in a recently-released statement.
After the announcement, many users took to Twitter to weigh in on the news. One user tweeted, "Wow.@debates did what they had to do. #shockingbutnotsurprising "The second presidential debate has been canceled by the Commission on Presidential Debates."
Another one reacting to the announcement tweeted, "Trump is too uncivilized to handle a virtual debate."
One person wrote, "Good for the commission. They should not be bullied or threatened by anyone." Another one tweeted, "Let Biden have the 90 minutes airtime since the other candidate refuses to participate!"
Slamming the US President, a user tweeted, "Trump has no debatable points to make; everything he has done is destructive. Interrupting and talking over Biden is his only strategy. He hopes to make Biden look bad. That's all he's got and you can't do that virtually."
The third and final debate, which is scheduled to take place on October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on. Both candidates have agreed to participate at the third debate in-person at Belmont University in Nashville, the commission said. Kristen Welker of NBC News will moderate the final faceoff.
The Presidential election will be held on November 3, this year.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they had tested positive for the coronavirus on October 2. Trump had returned to the White House on Monday after spending three days in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center undergoing treatment for the novel coronavirus. The virus has so far killed more than 210,000 people in the United States and has resulted in millions losing their jobs and suffering losses in businesses.