Biden opposed to debate if Trump still has virus

The CDC say people who test positive for the virus should stay home for at least 10 days after symptoms 1st appear

HAGERSTOWN • US Democrat Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would be opposed to debating with Donald Trump next week as scheduled if the US president is still sick with Covid-19, saying he would want to follow health guidelines.

“I’m looking forward to being able to debate him, but I just hope all the protocols are followed,” Biden, 77, told reporters as he returned from a speech near the Civil War battlefield site in Gettysburg.

Trump, 74, announced early last Friday — two days after his first debate with Biden in Cleveland — that he had tested positive for the virus.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines say people who test positive for the virus should stay home for at least 10 days after symptoms first appear, while people who become severely ill might need to stay home for up to 20 days.

“It’s a very serious problem, so I will be guided by…what the doctors say is the right thing to do,” Biden said.

Trump has given no indication he would bow out due to his health, saying in a tweet that he is “looking forward” to the next debate.

Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre on Mon- day and declared victory over the virus. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he said in one tweet. He went to the hospital last Friday.

Guidance from the CDC indicates that people with mild to moderate cases remain infectious as long as 10 days after the onset of symptoms.

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, the president indicated that he wouldn’t try to reschedule the debate despite his recent illness. “I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thurs- day, Oct 15 in Miami,” he wrote. “It will be great.”

Biden said on Monday that he hoped the lesson from Trump’s experience wouldn’t be to downplay the threat of the virus. “I hope no one walks away with the message that it’s not a problem. It’s a serious problem. It’s an international pandemic,” Biden said during a town hall in Miami hosted by NBC News.

His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, and VP Mike Pence were scheduled to have their own debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City yesterday night. — AFP/ Bloomberg