2nd presidential debate is officially canceled

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, center, gesturing during the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Associated Press

A third debate set for late October is still on

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is officially off.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed Friday that the Oct. 15 faceoff would be scrapped. The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place “virtually” because Trump had contracted the coronavirus.

Trump balked at holding the debate in that format, and Biden scheduled a town hall with ABC News for that night once Trump said he would not participate.

Trump’s team later countered with a call to hold the debates as scheduled once the president’s doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events beginning on Saturday.

(Related: Debate anger: Donald Trump, Joe Biden lash, interrupt each other)

But the commission said it would not reverse its decision not to have the candidates on stage together, citing an abundance of caution with health concerns — particularly for the town-hall-style debate that was set to feature questions from average voters.

The third debate, scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on.

(Related: VP Debate Takeaways: Pandemic looms over a more civil fight)

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