Donald Trump said Thursday that he would not participate in a virtual debate, accusing the organizing commission of “trying to protect” the health of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the moderator can “cut you off whenever they want.”
“I’m not going to waste my time with a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate, that is ridiculous. They can cut you off whenever they want,” Trump said.
Trump’s comments came just minutes after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that next week’s event would be virtual to protect the health of those involved after Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The commission said Thursday morning that the second presidential debate on Oct. 15 in Miami would take the form of a virtual town hall meeting “to protect the health and safety of all involved.” The commission said the candidates would participate from separate, remote locations and the moderator and meeting participants from Miami.
Biden’s campaign indicated that the former vice president would participate.
Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 1, about a week ago.
During a phone interview Thursday morning with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Trump insisted he was feeling “perfect” and that he doesn’t believe he is contagious, while signaling eagerness to return to the campaign trail to resume his large rallies, which have been criticized for eschewing public health guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals self-isolate for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms from COVID-19, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States to date.
“I don’t think I am contagious at all,” Trump insisted.
"I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate" — Trump, on with Maria Bartiromo, begins his first post-coronavirus interview by saying he's pulling out of the second debate. (He sounds a little hoarse.) pic.twitter.com/R43JSszfll
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020