Trump refuses to debate his competitor Biden in virtual TV event
Donald Trump has vowed not to take part in next week’s TV debate with former Vice-President Joe Biden after organizers said it will take place virtually because of the president’s diagnosis of COVID-19.
Mr. Trump said: “I’m not gonna waste my time on a personal debate. Sit behind a computer, ridiculous. They cut you off… I’m not doing a virtual debate.”
His refusal came just moments after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the change from the original plan, which was for both candidates to face off in Miami on October 15.
Meanwhile, Biden said he and Trump “shouldn’t have a debate” as long as the president remains COVID-positive.
Biden told reporters in Pennsylvania that he was “looking forward to being able to debate him” but said, “we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines.”
Trump was pronounced ill with the virus just 48 hours after debating Biden in person for the first time in Cleveland.
The first presidential debate on 30 September had descended into insults and interruptions. While the vice-presidential debate, held on Wednesday night between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, was a far more measured affair.
The US election will be held on 3 November. The latest opinion polls suggest Mr. Biden has a high single-digit lead nationally, but the outcome is often decided in battleground states where the races can be much closer.