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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden prepares to board a plane to Grand Rapids, Michigan, at New Castle County Airport October on 2, 2020 in New Castle, Delaware. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

'Hard to See That Debate Happening': With President Infected, Officials Say Biden vs. Trump Unlikely on Oct. 15

The Biden campaign also called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to strictly enforce Covid-19 precautions for all future debates. 

Julia Conley

Regarding the next presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, an official on Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign told the press Friday that it is "hard to see that debate happening" following President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis. 

PBS Newshour correspondent Lisa Desjardins reported the development on Twitter. 

CNN reporter Daniel Dale reported shortly after that all events involving the president and his family are being postponed or changed to virtual events, but did not include details about whether the second debate is included in those plans. 

Questions about whether the two candidates would go ahead with the debate in Miami in less than two weeks arose after Trump announced that both he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19 early on Friday. 

At the first debate in Cleveland, Ohio last Tuesday, the president openly mocked Biden for wearing a mask to all public events, and one journalist who attended noted that numerous people on Trump's side of the audience did not wear masks while they were seated, including his children. 

According to NBC News, a doctor at Cleveland Clinic, where the first debate was held, approached the Trumps to ask them to wear masks, but was not able to get close enough to them. Members of Biden's campaign wore face coverings throughout the debate.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a member of Trump's debate prep team, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that none of the "five or six people" who helped the president prepare on Tuesday were wearing face coverings. 

Desjardins reported that the Biden campaign is demanding that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) enforce Covid-19 safety precautions during the vice presidential debate, which is still set to go forward next Wednesday night. Both Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden's running mate, tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday.  

Regarding the presidential debate planned for the 15th, the Biden campaign pointed out that Trump is "not just Covid-positive but is actually sick." According to reports, the president has begun showing "mild symptoms" of the illness. 

Common Dreams reached out to the CPD for comment about their possible plans for the next presidential debate but as of press time did not receive any response.

Prior to his diagnosis, the president pushed back against a CPD statement that the commission would amend the rules for the next debate, saying he would not "allow" any changes.  

The first debate was called a "hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck" by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, after Trump repeatedly and aggressively interrupted Biden, leading the commission to reportedly consider cutting off candidates' microphones if they violate the rules in future debates. A Biden campaign official reportedly suggested the change, as well as limiting the time when candidates can directly address each other "to almost nothing."


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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

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