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US elections: Trump plans to attend debate, Biden says no if president has COVID

Published: Updated:

US President Donald Trump is planning to take part next week’s presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but the former VP said Tuesday the debate should not take place if the president still has the coronavirus.

“The President intends to participate in person,” Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, told Al Arabiya English in an email.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

Questions are being asked about the fate of the second debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida, following the hospitalized of Trump after he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

Trump was discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening after being admitted on Oct. 2.

After the president’s positive test results, several White House officials, staff and politicians close to Trump also tested positive.

But Biden said Tuesday night that next week’s debate should not take place if the president still has the coronavirus.

“If he still has COVID we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden told reporters traveling with him.

The vice-presidential debate slated for Wednesday night between VP Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, may have plexiglass barriers separating the two.

Read more:

US elections: Biden will attend second debate with Trump if scientists say it’s safe

Coronavirus: Biden wishes US President Trump, Melania ‘swift recovery’ from COVID-19