Will Second Presidential Debate Be Canceled? Trump Insists on Facing Biden Despite Having COVID

The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place in Miami on October 15, but President Donald Trump's positive test for coronavirus has raised questions about whether it should go ahead.

While the president has insisted he wants to debate former Vice President Joe Biden in person, both Biden and the mayor of Miami have said Trump should not attend if he is still testing positive for the virus.

On Tuesday, the Democratic nominee said that he wanted to debate Trump but not if there was a risk that other people could be exposed to COVID. The Trump campaign said the president will be "healthy."

"I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn't have a debate," Biden told reporters. "We're going to have to follow very strict guidelines. Too many people have been infected. It's a very serious problem."

"I'm not sure what President Trump is all about now. I don't know what his status is. I'm looking forward to being able to debate him, but I just hope all the protocols are followed.

"I just hope all the protocols are followed," he said.

"President Trump will be healthy and will be there," Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement on Tuesday. "There's no getting out of this one for Biden and his protectors in the media can't cover for him."

The Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, a Republican, has said that Trump should not attend the debate if he is still testing positive for the disease. Suarez told Politico it could be dangerous for the people Trump meets.

"I don't think it's safe, not for him and anybody else, anywhere or anyone he interacts with," Suarez said on Tuesday.

"Remember, this thing is highly contagious," he said. "How many people are infected in his inner circle, in the White House, senators, et cetera?"

On Tuesday, the president's senior advisor, Stephen Miller, became the latest person in Trump's orbit to reveal that they had contracted the virus.More than a dozen White House officials have now tested positive.

The Commission on Presidential Debates is responsible for organizing the debates and works with the candidates' teams to agree conditions. Any decision to cancel could fall on the commission. Alternatively, either Biden or Trump could simply refuse to attend.

Trump has been upbeat about the debate and his health since his discharge from Walter Reed medical center. In recent days, the president has used his Twitter account to criticize his opponents and make the case for his re-election.

"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. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!" he wrote Monday.

"I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!" he tweeted the following day.

The Trump and Biden campaigns have been contacted for comment.

Trump and Biden at the First Debate
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and former Vice President Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. There have been calls to cancel the second debate if the president is still testing positive for COVID-19. Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images