US President Donald Trump says he won’t participate in the next presidential debate, after it was announced that it will be virtual “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.”
The U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates announced its plan for the next debate Thursday, saying Trump, who is being treated for COVID-19, and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would participate from separate remote locations.
In a statement, the commission said the debate, scheduled for next Thursday, will be held as originally planned at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, Florida. The debate format, a “town hall” style debate, with the candidates taking questions from audience members, will also remain the same.
Asked about the announcement on Fox Business, Trump said, “That’s not acceptable to me. I am not gonna do a virtual debate.”
The Biden campaign has said the former vice president will participate.
Trump said Thursday he has been recovering from COVID-19 and has been confined to the White House since returning Monday from the Walter Reed Medical Center.
The president, through his Twitter account, had said earlier in the week he was looking forward to participating in the debate.
The Centers for Disease Control guidelines say a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be isolated for at least 10 days. Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was revealed last Friday.