Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that if President Trump is still testing positive for COVID-19 that the two candidates “shouldn’t have a debate.”
Biden’s remarks came as he arrived at the airport in Hagerstown, Md., after delivering a speech aimed at bridging the divide in American society that the former vice president partly blames on Trump.
“I think if he still has COVID we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden said of Trump, who returned to the White House on Monday night after spending three days hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center being treated for COVID-19.
But Biden also said he welcomed a second opportunity to debate Trump.
“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,” Biden said.
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he intended to participate in the next scheduled debate on Oct. 15 in Miami, Fla., though his campaign said later that the ultimate decision would be left up to the president’s medical team.
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
Biden was asked how he thought the campaigns should move forward with the debates, including Wednesday’s vice-presidential forum, given the high number of White House staffers who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I think what they’re doing at the Harris debate, I’ve been told, I don’t know this for fact, they’re using plexiglass, and are following what the Cleveland Clinic says.”
Pressed on whether he would pull out of the Miami debate, Biden said he would be guided by medical experts.
“I think we were gonna have to follow very strict guidelines,” Biden answered. “Too many people have been infected. It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do.”
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