Next US presidential debate will be virtual: organisers

The second US presidential debate on October 15 will be virtual, the Commission on Presidential Debates said on Thursday, with President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden participating in the townhall style event from remote locations.

The audience, who typically ask the candidates questions in the town-meeting format, and moderator Steve Scully will 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.”

Trump says he will not do a virtual debate
President Donald Trump almost immediately said 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.

Mr Trump said he would not waste his time on a virtual debate he said had been ordered to “protect” his rival.

The first debate descended into insults and interruptions. US media used words like “chaos” and “ugly” to describe it.

The vice-presidential debate, held on Wednesday night between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, was a far more measured affair.

The next 90-minute presidential event is due to be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, with local residents in the audience posing questions to the candidates.

But the commission said candidates would have to take part “from separate remote locations”.

Participants and the moderator will be in Miami.

Mr Trump previously said he looked forward to debating Mr Biden on stage and on Monday Mr Biden said he would share a stage with Mr Trump as long as medical experts gave the go-ahead.

More soon…

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