WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS) — The status of the second presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden was cast into doubt Thursday after the commission that organizes the event said it would be held virtually to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump speaks as former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the first presidential debate hosted by Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 29, 2020. (Getty Images)

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the second debate scheduled for October 15 in Miami would instead feature virtual appearances by the two candidates, a change the president quickly dismissed as “not acceptable.”

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo earlier in the morning. “You sit behind a computer and do a debate, it’s ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want.”

Mr. Trump’s decision to forgo the event led the Biden campaign to back out as well, with deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield urging the commission to reschedule the town hall for the following week. Bedingfield said the campaign was prepared to accept the new format, but would now “find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly” on the day of the debate.



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