Anticipation regarding the next presidential debate is particularly high due to recent happenings. However, this anticipation was met with disappointment when rumors about the cancellation of the debate began circulating on social media. The question remains, is the second virtual debate canceled or not.
Covid-19 and health concerns
On Thursday, the Commission on Presidential debates announced that the next meeting between President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden is going to be virtual. This decision was made “to protect the health and safety of all involved.” This is mainly because the Biden campaign has been pushing for stringent health security measures ever since Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19. The commission further clarified that the next debate will follow the format of a regular town meeting. The candidates will participate in this town meeting from separate, remote locations to demate regarding crucial matters. The moderator and questioners will still be participating from Miami.
All was well and most supporters were happy regarding the attention given to health security. However, this was short-lived. Donald Trump and his campaign became immediately suspicious of this virtual town meeting. Donald Trump and his supporters have previously been seen disregarding all SOP protocols. “I’m not doing a virtual debate,” Trump said. He further reiterated that a virtual meeting would be a waste of time. Many citizens fear that the second virtual debate will be canceled due to Trump’s response.
Second debate – canceled or not?
Trump further stated that the Commission had failed to timely inform his campaign of this virtual town meeting. He said that prior to the announcement, his campaign had no idea that the next debate would be entirely virtual. Donald Trump’s decision to not participate in the virtual debate may backfire on his campaign. Donald Trump is already trailing in national polls and several swing state polls with less than 28 days left for the Election Day. The debate presents an opportunity for Trump to close the gap with Biden on a national stage, publicly.
The Biden campaign has clarified their stance on the virtual meeting, they stated that the former vice president would still participate in the debate despite it being virtual. “Vice President Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people and comparing his plan for bringing the country together and building back better with Donald Trump’s failed leadership on the coronavirus that has thrown the strong economy he inherited into the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told the press.
Trump’s disapproval of the virtual presidential debate raises the question, is the second virtual debate going to be eventually canceled? Since it would not be fruitful if only one candidate participates. Many citizens feel that the idea of a virtual presidential debate is beneficial for both candidates as health comes first.