US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would not participate in a debate with Democrat Joe Biden under a new format announced by the debates commission in which each candidate would appear at remote locations.
In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Trump said the new virtual format announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates was not acceptable to him.
“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” he said.
The commission said on Thursday that the debate, planned on October 15, would see Trump and Biden participate from remote locations.
The audience, who typically ask the candidates questions in the town-meeting format, and moderator Steve Scully would gather in one spot in Florida, Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the commission said in a statement.
The commission said the decision was made “to protect the health and safety of all involved.”
Last Thursday Trump tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns that during the first debate on the preceding Tuesday he had infected Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. Biden has tested negative.