US Election 2020: Nice if decision to scrap presidential debate reversed, says White House | World News - Hindustan Times
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US Election 2020: Nice if decision to scrap presidential debate reversed, says White House

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Karan Manral
Oct 12, 2020 11:55 AM IST

The US Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) had reformatted the debate to a virtual one after Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19. But it was scrapped as Trump refused to participate.

With the second presidential debate between US president Donald Trump and his Democratic Party opponent Joe Biden on October 15 cancelled, the White House spokesman on Sunday said it would be ‘nice’ if the US Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) reverses its decision to scrap the debate.

US president Donald Trump (right) and Democratic presidential candidate, former vice president Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020 (Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)
US president Donald Trump (right) and Democratic presidential candidate, former vice president Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020 (Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

The CPD had reformatted the second of three presidential debates to take place virtually due to Trump testing positive for coronavirus. On Friday, it cancelled the debate after Trump refused to participate in it if not held in person.

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Speaking on the issue, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern on Sunday said, “It would be nice if the commission would get the debate back on the schedule. I think the president is ready to go. He wants to be on stage debating Joe Biden in person.”

Morgenstern further said Trump would be ‘happy to show up’ to trade verbal blows with Biden.

Biden, meanwhile, has said he doesn’t mind having a virtual debate with Trump, whose team has argued that virtual format ‘favours’ the former vice president.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus on October 2. The US president was discharged last Monday after spending four days in a hospital. He was cleared by White House physician Sean Conley to resume public engagements. On Saturday, Conley said Trump was no longer ‘a transmission risk.’

The first presidential debate for the November 3 election took place in Cleveland on September 29, while the second was scheduled to take place on Thursday in Miami. The third and final debate, meanwhile, will take place on October 22 in Nashville.

On October 8, the debate commission had said the second debate would take place virtually ‘in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.’ It has refused to reverse its decision in this regard.

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