Former Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he will not debate President Donald Trump in Miami next week if Trump is still positive for the coronavirus.

Biden addressed reporters at an airport in Hagerstown, Maryland, that he thought that health officials should decide the safety protocol for next week’s debate, and that he would be following guidelines from the Cleveland Clinic, which is supervising all health conditions during this year’s debates.

“I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate. I think we were gonna have to follow very strict guidelines,” Biden said, “Too many people have been infected.”

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive Friday, and since then White House staffers, aides, and officials, as well as members of the Trump campaign, have been diagnosed with COVID.

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Biden did not shake hands with Trump at their catastrophic debate last week, prior to Trump’s diagnosis. They remained 12 feet apart at their own podiums. However, Fox News host and debate moderator Chris Wallace announced that Trump and the members of his family and campaign did not wear masks during the debate, and that Trump himself showed up too late prior to the start of the debate to be tested for COVID-19.

Since the debate, Biden has tested negative three times, but doctors say it can sometimes take up to two weeks for COVID-19 to appear in the body after exposure.

Trump returned from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday night, and announced he is feeling well. He also shared in a video via Twitter that Americans shouldn’t be afraid of COVID, despite the current death toll reaching over 212,000 Americans.

Trump’s reelection campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said that “the President intends to participate in the debate in person.”


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