Election Beat: Biden says there “shouldn’t be a debate” if the president remains COVID-19 positive

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media as he leaves the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP Photo.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign demanded Tuesday for a cancelation of the second debate if President Donald Trump continues to test positive for COVID-19.  

As the two presidential candidates prepare for the upcoming debate, Biden told reporters health guidelines for the debate should be followed to ensure safety.  

“I’m not sure what President Trump is all about now, I don’t know what his status is. I’m looking forward to being able to debate him. But I just hope all the protocols are followed, what’s necessary at the time,” Biden said.  

After President Trump announced he tested positive for the coronavirus last Friday, many have been concerned about the course of action for holding the debate, which is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.   

The president had a brief stay at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this past weekend, where physicians put the president on several different drugs. 

Trump has since departed from the hospital and assured viewers through his official Twitter account he is now “feeling great” and “looking forward to the debate.” 

Trump’s doctors claimed the president’s symptoms have subsided but repeatedly refused to answer when he last tested negative for the virus.  

Fox News contributor and former White House press secretary Arti Fleischer also commented on the president’s attendance for the next debate, agreeing the president should confirm with a doctor’s clearance before attending. 

“I hope his doctor gives him the clearance, not only for his sake, for the country’s sake, but for the sake of those who will be at the event with him, including [former] Vice President [Joe] Biden and the Secret Service, everybody,” Fleischer said. 

20 people in close contact with the president announced they contracted COVID-19 over the past week after attending campaign events.  

Biden has been tested four times since meeting with the president on the debate stage, all of which came back negative.  

In an interview with ABC News, Biden’s campaign manager Kate Bedingfield explained Biden’s comments, saying Trump should assure the attendees at the town-hall style debate that he poses no threat in spreading the virus. 

“It is a town hall format. There will be real people. There will be citizens there in attendance asking questions. So, the obligation is on Donald Trump to prove that he is not contagious,” Bedingfield said. “The obligation is on him to meet the standards laid out by the Cleveland Clinic, laid out by the presidential commission on debates. And we have every expectation that he’ll do that. And when he does, we’re looking forward to being there to debate.”  

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