President Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that the second presidential debate will continue as planned despite his recent coronavirus diagnosis. In a tweet Tuesday morning, just hours after he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump said that he is "looking forward" to the event, which he said "will be great!"
Currently, the second debate is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, just two weeks after the president tested positive for the virus alongside wife Melania Trump. The debate is set to be a town hall with an audience. At this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates has not announced if the debate will go on, be postponed, or canceled.
I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
Trump's Tuesday tweet marked just the latest indication that the president plans to move forward with the debates as they are currently scheduled. On Sunday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News that Trump is "very hopeful about getting out there in short order when the doctors deem it appropriate." On Monday, Trump 2020 Communications Director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News that "the President intends to debate."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also indicated his willingness to move forward with the debates without delay. Speaking with reporters on Monday, the former vice president said that if experts indicated it was safe to go ahead with the Oct. 15 debate, "that's fine," according to Forbes. Just a day earlier, Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser to Biden, said that Biden is "looking forward" to the debate.
"We are looking forward to the debate on Oct. 15 in Miami. It's a town hall and, as you know, Vice President Biden loves a good town hall," Sanders said during an interview on CNN's State of the Union. "And we are hoping President Trump can participate. We're hoping that he's medically able to participate, and that is up to his doctors to clear him. But Joe Biden will be at that debate."
Given the president's diagnosis, should the debate go on as planned, there would likely be some changes. WKRN reports that should Trump be cleared to debate, it is possible the candidates would not be in the same room and the event would take on a more virtual format. It would also be likely that the town hall-styled event would scrap an audience.
At this time, it is unclear if the debate will in fact go on as planned. A vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. A third and final presidential debate is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22 in Nashville.