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Friday, October 9, 2020

2nd presidential debate is officially canceled

Trump balked at holding the debate with a virtual format

The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is officially off.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed Friday that the Oct. 15 faceoff would be scrapped. The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place “virtually” because Trump had contracted the coronavirus. 

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and former Vice President Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates in the lead up to the election on November 3. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump balked at holding the debate in that format, and Biden scheduled a town hall with ABC News for that night once Trump said he would not participate.

Trump’s team later countered with a call to hold the debates as scheduled once the president’s doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events beginning on Saturday.

Read More: Biden to participate in ABC town hall after urging reschedule of second debate

But the commission said it would not reverse its decision not to have the candidates on stage together, citing an abundance of caution with health concerns — particularly for the town-hall-style debate that was set to feature questions from average voters.

The third debate, scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump is planning to hold his first in-person event since testing positive for the coronavirus.

Two weeks after the Rose Garden event that is now considered a “superspreader,” Trump is planning to convene another large crowd outside the White House for an event on “law and order.” That’s despite the ongoing White House COVID-19 outbreak.

An official says Trump will address the group from a White House balcony. The official declined to say how many people had been invited.

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