Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the second presidential between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should go forward as scheduled.
“I think it should go forward,” he said during an interview with Hugh Hewitt. “Hopefully, the president feels up to it.”
McConnell suggested that the debate can be done remotely. He also said he wanted to see the next debate be less tense.
“I think the public would be better served, and both candidates would be better served by more respectful exchanges. I hope we see that in the next debate,” he said.
During the first presidential debate held in Ohio on Sept. 29, Trump and Biden clashed frequently, interrupting one another as well as with the moderator, Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, announced in a memorandum early Friday that both the president and first lady tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Following Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the president’s upcoming campaign events have been postponed or will be held virtually. McConnell made his remarks before the Trump campaign announced that the events will be rescheduled.
It’s unclear if the president will attend the second presidential debate. The Trump campaign didn’t reply to a request for comment.
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative and will continue on the campaign trail.
The second presidential debate is scheduled to take place Oct. 15 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. The vice presidential debate will be held on Oct. 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, who will moderate the second presidential debate, was an intern in Biden’s office in the late 1990s when Biden was a senator representing Delaware.
Biden has tested negative for the CCP virus, which emerged from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, his campaign physician said in a statement.
Both Trumps are “well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” Conley said.
The Trumps were tested after White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the CCP virus.
Their 14-year-old son, Barron, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have tested negative.
Trump is fatigued but in good spirits, Conley said in a health update on Friday afternoon. He received a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail and has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.
“He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” read the memorandum.
Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache, the president’s physician said.