Washington, 10 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The second US presidential debate has officially been cancelled, the authority organizing the event said Friday, after President Donald Trump decided to pull out of it.
In a statement, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it was “now apparent there will be no debate on October 15″ but that it would hold the third and final debate as planned on October 22.
The announcement came a day after the president called the debate a “waste of time” after the commission said the event would be held virtually out of health concerns following Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis.
The Trump campaign insisted that the event be held in-person, claiming that the non-partisan commission was seeking to “shield” Trump’s challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Presidential debates are a long-standing tradition in US politics, and it is a major development for a sitting president to pull out.
While the president says he won the first debate, surveys have indicated that most people were appalled by it, as the president incessantly talked over and interrupted Biden.
After Trump pulled out of the virtual debate, Biden said Thursday he would hold a solo town hall on October 15 while Trump is planning to hold a rally.