The next presidential debate is going virtual… if it’s not delayed or cancelled. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Thursday that the town hall event will be held virtually. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s team agreed to the updated safety terms, but almost immediately, President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that he would skip a virtual debate, and hold a rally instead.
Following Trump’s refusal, Biden’s team suggested pushing the debate back a week, reports The New York Times, saying, “Joe Biden was prepared to accept the C.P.D.’s proposal for a virtual Town Hall, but the president has refused, as Donald Trump clearly does not want to face questions from the voters about his failures on Covid and the economy.”
In a statement, the commission said the change was made “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate.” Trump tested positive for the coronavirus a week ago, and was still experiencing symptoms as recently as Tuesday. The CDC recommends those who test positive to self-quarantine for 10 days after their last negative test if their symptoms subside.
So far, Trump’s team and doctors have refused to confirm when the president’s last negative COVID-19 test was.
As of now, it’s unclear if the second presidential debate will ultimately take place, but if it happens, here’s everything you need to know about when and how to watch. Be sure to check back regularly for any changes.
When and where is the second presidential debate? The debate is set to air live virtually on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, though Biden’s team has proposed pushing the debate back a week. The original in-person debate would have taken place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida,
How to watch the second presidential debate: You can watch the debate across every major network on cable as well as streaming, with CBS, ABC, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC and more all carrying the program.
Who is moderating the second debate? C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully is the moderator for the second debate.
What is the debate format? The debate is supposed to be a town hall format, with Trump and Biden answering questions from Florida voters as selected by Gallup senior scientist Dr. Frank Newport.
Will the debate be postponed or canceled? Despite safety concerns for others, as well as his own coronavirus recovery, Trump has said that he won’t participate in the debate if it’s virtual, and will hold a rally instead. This announcement was echoed by Trump’s campaign manager on Thursday. We will update here with any changes to the status of this debate should they arise.
What changes are going to be made following the first debate? It’s an understatement to say the first debate was… not great. With a contentious back-and-forth and Trump repeatedly talking over questions and answers and getting into arguments with moderator Chris Wallace, even the Fox News anchor admitted the night was a “terrible missed opportunity.”
The day after the debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates released a statement confirming their intention to provide “additional structure” to the remaining debates.
“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the statement read. “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly. The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”
Check back here for more updates on the second 2020 presidential debate, and read on below for more of ET’s election coverage.
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