Trump says he won't participate in next debate after it goes virtual due to COVID-19

President Donald Trump said Oct. 8 that he would not participate in the second presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates revealed the event would be a "virtual town hall" to protect the health of all involved, according to The Washington Post.  

The nonpartisan commission's decision came six days after the president announced that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. More than a dozen White House officials have tested positive for the virus since the president's diagnosis, according to CNBC

The Commission for Presidential Debates said the candidates would participate in the Oct. 15 debate "from separate remote locations." The moderator, Steve Scully of C-SPAN, would still conduct the debate from the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts in Miami, according to The New York Times

Shortly after the format change was announced, the president said he would not participate in the debate. 

"I'm not going to waste my time on virtual debate. That's not what debating is all about," President Trump said in an interview on Fox Business. "You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It's ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want." 

In a statement to The Washington Post, President Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien said the president would hold a rally instead of participating in the debate. 

A spokesperson for Mr. Biden said he welcomes the chance to participate in the second debate virtually, saying he "looks forward to speaking directly to the American people," according to The Washington Post.  

More articles on leadership and management:
The vice presidential debate: 6 healthcare takeaways
Trump has been symptom-free for 24 hours, White House physician says
House panel probes possible White House influence on COVID-19 messaging, actions

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