WASHINGTON (SBG) — The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has canceled next week's virtual matchup between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, opting instead to prepare for the final presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 22.
This comes after Trump, and several others in the White House, tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the month. The commission had announced the second presidential debate would be held virtually "for the health and safety of all involved." A day later, the Oct. 15 faceoff was scrapped.
Trump had objected to holding the debate in a virtual format, and Biden scheduled a town hall with ABC News for that night once the president said he would not participate.
"It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22," a statement from the commission reads.
Trump’s team would later counter with a call to hold the debates as scheduled once his doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events beginning on Saturday.
The commission doubled down on its decision not to reverse course and have the candidates onstage together, citing an abundance of caution for everyone's health — particularly for the town-hall-style debate that was set to feature questions from voters.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the final debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Both candidates have agreed to participate.
The debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments. The topics for the six segments will be selected and announced by the moderator, NBC News' Kristen Welker, at least one week before the debate.