Biden Says Next Presidential Debate Should Be Called Off If Trump Still Has COVID

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Tuesday that if Trump is still contaminated with COVID-19, next week's scheduled debate with Republican President Donald Trump does not take place, reports Reuters.

Trump, 74, returned to the White House on Monday after three nights at a hospital after days of contradictory messages from physicians and aides about his condition. On Tuesday, his doctor said that Trump showed no signs of COVID-19 and was doing "extremely well."

For those testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the usual quarantine duration is 14 days. On Friday, Trump declared his positive test.

But, with White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller claiming he tested positive on Tuesday, the disease continues to spread among Trump's top aides.

“Too many people have been infected. It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do,” Biden said of his debate participation.

On Tuesday, a week after sharing a debate stage with Trump in Cleveland, the former vice president, 77, screened negative once again for COVID-19.

Vice President Mike Pence and a running mate from Biden, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will hold her scheduled debate in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was safe for Pence to take part in the debate because he was not in close contact with anyone with COVID-19, including Trump.

‘PARTISAN WARFARE’

Biden gave a speech earlier this Tuesday in Gettysburg , Pennsylvania, the site of one of the bloodiest U.S. wars. From the Civil War. He said that he would put politics aside as president and seek to heal the widening cultural , political and economic divisions of the country.

Biden did not mention Trump's name, but said the nation was witnessing "complete relentless divisive warfare," which made it impossible to tackle the coronavirus that killed 210,000 people in the U.S. and cost their jobs millions more.

“Let’s set the partisanship aside. Let’s end the politics. Let’s follow the science. Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement. It’s a scientific recommendation,” Biden said, alluding to Trump’s repeated refusal to wear a mask for safety even after he contracted the virus.

“What we need in America is leadership that seeks to de-escalate tensions, to open lines of communication, and to bring us together,” he said. “As president, that is precisely what I will do.”

Biden chose a dramatic spot for the address, delivering it near the battlefield of Gettysburg, where Confederate troops were driven back by the Union army in 1863, a turning point in the Civil War.

It was also where President Abraham Lincoln, referencing the United States, delivered his historic Gettysburg Speech. Declaration of Independence that declared that all persons are created equal, a speech to which Biden frequently referred.

National opinion polls show Biden leading Trump steadily ahead of the Nov. 3 Election Day, although the lead in some major swing states has been narrower.

A Reuters / Ipsos survey taken Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 in Pennsylvania, which Trump narrowly won over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, revealed Biden with a 5-point lead over Trump, matching the credibility interval of the poll.

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