The One Reason Biden Says The Debate Should Be Called Off

It's been a week since the first presidential debate, and since then there has been speculation over whether Democratic candidate Joe Biden would give the second one a hard pass. But he has continued expressing his resolve to meet his political rival Donald Trump on the debate floor... until now. 

Biden has said he doesn't known the status of Donald Trump's health since he returned to the White House on Monday night after being hospitalized for COVID-19, and because of this, he doesn't think the debate should be held if the president still had the coronavirus. "Well, I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn't have a debate," Biden told reporters today. "I think we're gonna have to follow very strict guidelines. Too many people have been infected and it's a very serious problem." But he did say he'd be happy to meet the president on the debate stage under one condition: "... I'll be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic, and what the docs say is the right thing to do — if and when he shows up for debate" (via CNN).

"I'm looking forward to being able to debate him. But I just hope all the protocols are followed, what's necessary at the time," Biden said. For his part, Trump seems to be planning to be at the debate, tweeting earlier today, "I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!"

All but two members of Trump's debate prep team have COVID

Since he was released from Walter Reed Medical Center, President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he is feeling fit and well. He tweeted on Oct. 5: "Feeling really good! Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump administration, some really great drugs & knowledge." And while Trump aides have said he sounds better and stronger, they are speaking to him from a distance. 

White House reporters say the West Wing is quiet, because many people have either tested positive or are working from home and self-isolating (via The New York Times). These include four senior members of White House staff including Stephen Miller and his spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany. Others who have tested positive for COVID-19 include five more members of the president's eight-person debate prep team, among those are Chris Christie, Hope Hicks, and his campaign manager Bill Stepien. While the White House has not attempted to carry out any type of contact tracing (via The New York Times), there is a tracker that shows just how many people have gotten sick and have confirmed they are COVID positive since Donald Trump's diagnosis was announced.