Second presidential debate on Oct. 15 officially canceled

President Trump and former Vice President Biden were slated to meet in a town-hall style debate. The Trump campaign refused a virtual format due to health concerns.

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President Donald Trump, left, listens to former Vice President Joe Biden speak during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Julio Cortez/AP

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The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden has been canceled by the Commission on Presidential Debates, according to a source familiar with the decision.

Both campaigns have agreed to appear at the third and final presidential debate, a podium format set for Nashville on Oct. 22, the source said. 

Trump said Thursday he would not take part in the next presidential debate with former Biden after it was moved to a virtual format because of COVID-19 safety concerns. 

Trump’s decision set off a furious back and forth between the two campaigns on the debate schedule and formats, culminating with Biden scheduling his own televised town hall for Oct. 15, the night of the previously scheduled second of three debates. Trump won’t be present.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday morning the next debate would be remote to “protect the health and safety of all involved” after Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the subsequent White House outbreak. 

“I’m not going to waste my time doing a virtual debate,” Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, calling it a “joke” and an effort “to protect Biden.”

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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