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Presidential debate in Miami canceled after Trump refuses to participate virtually

The final debate, scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on and both campaigns have agreed to be there.
Image: Image: Donald Trump, Joe Biden
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020 in Cleveland.Julio Cortez / AP
/ Source: NBC News

The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden slated for next week has been canceled, the Commission on Presidential Debate announced on Friday.

Frank Fahnrenkopf, the co-chair of the commission told NBC News on Friday said that since both campaigns have indicated they have other plans, the Miami face-off set for Oct. 15 between the two candidates will not go on as planned.

Trump pulled out of that debate when the commission said it would be held remotely, and Biden then agreed to hold a town hall on ABC that night.

"The CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22," the commission said in a statement.

That final debate — to be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News — is still on and both campaigns have agreed. It will be a standup traditional debate format.

"Subject to health security considerations, and in accordance with all required testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols, the debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee," the commission said in a statement.

The commission recently announced it would host a virtual debate between Trump and Biden as a safety precaution after the president was infected with COVID-19 and later hospitalized.

Since being released from the hospital, Trump has boasted about his recovery and said he would not participate in a virtual debate. His campaign said there is no medical reason to continue with a virtual debate since the president's doctors have said Trump can resume normal activities as early as Saturday.

"There is also no reason there shouldn’t be the three total presidential debates as Joe Biden had originally agreed. We have suggested using October 22 and October 29 to hold the final two debates," Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. "It’s time for the biased commission to stop protecting Biden and preventing voters from hearing from the two candidates for president.”

He added that the campaigns should usurp the commission and "debate one-on-one without the commission’s interference.”

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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