The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden be held virtually after the president was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, reports the Associated Press. The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the debate change a week before the two candidates were scheduled to take place in Miami, revealing the candidates will debate "from separate remote locations," although the town hall participants and moderator will remain in Miami.
Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus a week ago, but returned to the White House after two days at the hospital, during which he was treated for low oxygen levels. Despite him contracting the highly contagious virus, he repeatedly expressed the desire to debate Biden in Miami as scheduled, while Biden told reporters he and Trump "shouldn't have a debate" while the president remains COVID positive, or unless they were able to "follow very strict guidelines."
The CPD will also be instituting "additional structure" to the remaining debates after Trump repeatedly broke the agreed-upon rules during last week's debate by speaking out of turn and talking over Biden during his allotted time. "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the commission said in a Sept. 30 statement. "The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly."
Days later, Trump tested positive for COVID-19, and was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated with experimental drugs, including the antibody cocktail, still in clinical trials, produced by Regeneron. While the details of his health remain unclear, Trump addressed Americans in a video shared to Twitter Wednesday, saying he considered becoming ill with the virus that has killed more than 211,000 Americans a "blessing" because of the treatments he underwent.
"To me it wasn't therapeutic — it just made me better, OK? I call that a cure," said Trump, who appeared to struggle for air numerous times in the video. "I feel great — I feel, like, perfect." White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, has declared the president symptom-free, but would not disclose further information about his treatment. Currently, 34 people connected to the White House have contracted the coronavirus, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.