The second Presidential Debate was intended to be held on October 15th, however, since President Trump had tested positive on Friday October 2nd for COVID-19, changes are set to be made to the format of the upcoming debate. The Trump Campaign plans to hold a rally after rejecting a virtual debate.
Update: As of October 11th, the second Presidential Debate has been cancelled after Trump’s refusal to debate virtually and attention will be turned to the final debate to be held on October 22nd.
For reference, here is a short summary of President Trump’s infection. Trump announced his prompt departure from Walter Reed Hospital on Monday, October 5th, about 72 hours days after his arrival at the hospital. At Walter Reed, President Trump is said to have received supplemental oxygen and a total of five doses of Remdesivir therapy. Following Trump’s return to the White House, he removed his mask, gave a thumbs up to reporters, and saluted Marine One. Now at least 22 people in the White House have tested positive for coronavirus.
Likewise, here are some common questions about Trump’s infection: Was it safe for President Trump to return to the White House only 72 hours after his arrival at Walter Reed? Because Donald Trump arrived late to the first debate and insisted that he had been tested prior to his arrival, is it possible that he tested positive and did not disclose it? After recent media of Trump having trouble breathing upon his return to the White House, is he really in the stable condition that his doctor’s have assured?
In regard to the proceedings of the second Presidential Debate, a plan for a virtual debate has been announced “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.” Trump quickly shut down the plan and suggested that former Vice President Joe Biden is using the virtual format as an excuse to receive aide from his advisors during the debate. Trump’s advisors then announced that they will plan to hold a rally on the intended night of the debate instead. Meanwhile, Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager who also tested positive for coronavirus, offered to postpone, which would cause the third debate to be held October 29th, five days before the election.
Many believe that the Trump campaign is scrambling for any media they can get after recent average polls show Trump trailing by 11%. Holding a rally rather than attending the debate virtually is one of the Trump campaigns efforts to do so. However, with Trump’s recent contraction of COVID-19, many are worried and skeptical of Trump’s health and the rationality behind this decision. Dan Merica and Kevin Bohn of CNN believe that “The cancellation is a political loss for Trump, who is down in all national polls and either behind or tied with Biden in key swing states. The loss of a debate deprives the President of a platform that he needs at a time when his campaign is trailing.”
Information Courtesy of: The Los Angeles Times, NPR, and CNN.