The Second Presidential Debate Has Been Canceled After Trump Refuses to Participate Virtually

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The Commission on Presidential Debates released a statement on October 9, stating that the second debate between President Donald Trump and Candidate Joe Biden is canceled.

This comes after a tumultuous week where over 25 people in the White House circle tested positive for COVID-19, including the President and First Lady Melania Trump. Trump tested positive on October 1 after an event in the Rose Garden for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Since that gathering, an outbreak has swept the White House staff. Trump had a brief stay in Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, where he continued to downplay the seriousness of the virus.

After four days of treatment, Trump checked himself out and was immediately photographed, removing his mask. Many shamed the President for downplaying his stay at Walter Reed, comparing his superior treatment to the thousands of people turned away from hospitals, and the 200k who died. Due to his diagnosis, the CPD originally decided to make the October 15 debate virtual, which Trump refused. The President said that a virtual debate would be a waste of time during a Fox interview.

White House Doctor Sean Conley has cleared the President to resume in-person events, even though there has not been a 14-day quarantine. Trump has his first event at the White House this coming Saturday, where he plans to greet guests from the balcony, and another rally scheduled in Florida on Monday. Trump now wants to move forward with the debate in-person, but his campaign has yet to say if he has been retested, with negative results.

The third debate is still set for October 22, and both Trump and Biden have agreed to participate. Until then, the GOP and the White House are under a magnifying glass, with voters closely watching how they handle this outbreak. Every action that the President takes over the next month will impact whether or not he is re-elected, and both his supporters and opposers will be examining his every move.