Quartz

8 October 2020

Nicolás Rivero

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The fate of the remaining US presidential debates is in jeopardy after president Donald Trump declared he would not participate in a virtual face-off.

While Joe Biden’s campaign initially signaled its enthusiasm for the virtual debate, originally scheduled for Oct. 15, both candidates now say they’ll stage separate town halls to take questions from voters. The Trump campaign later asked to postpone the debate and hold it in-person, to give the contagious president more time to recover from Covid-19. His diagnosis was a major reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the new virtual format.

“No, I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo. “That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate—it’s ridiculous.”

But would a virtual debate really be so bad?

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