Second US presidential debate delay

Washington, October 10

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

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed on Friday that the October 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.

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.

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 October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on.

Meanwhile, new Covid cases of in the US hit a two-month high on Friday with over 58,000 infections reported and hospitalisations in the Midwest at record levels for a fifth day in a row. — PTI

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