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Second presidential debate to be held virtually — but President Trump says he's not doing it


'They're trying to protect Biden'

Photo by JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday that next week's presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be virtual.

In an interview with Fox News, the president said he will not take part.

What are the details?

The debate, set for Oct. 15, will be held virtually following Trump's positive COVID-19 diagnosis, according to CNBC.

Following the diagnosis, Trump spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. He was released Monday and is reportedly on the mend.

"The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations," the commission said in an announcement.

The commission explained that it made the decision "in order to protect the health and safety of all involved."

C-SPAN's Steve Scully will remain the moderator for the second debate.

"The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida," a statement read. "The White House Pool will provide coverage of the second presidential debate."

'They're trying to protect Biden'

Trump told Fox Business that he has no plans to partake in a "ridiculous" virtual debate.

"The commission changed the debate style and that's not acceptable to us," Trump told Maria Bartiromo on Thursday morning. "I beat him in the first debate, I beat him easily."

"I'm not going to do a virtual debate," Trump added. "I'm not going to waste my time at a virtual debate.

"They're trying to protect Biden," the president insisted. "Everybody is."

According to Fox News, the Biden campaign appeared to accept the format change Thursday morning.

The outlet reported that deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said, "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."

This story is breaking and will be updated as necessary.

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