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President Donald Trump, in treatment for COVID, says he’s ‘looking forward’ to debate against Joe Biden next week

Trump and Biden (Andrea Widburg/Flickr)
October 06, 2020

President Donald Trump, at least five days into COVID-19 treatment, says he’s eager to take the stage against Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the next scheduled presidential debate in Miami next week, where rules regarding safety remain unresolved.

“I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “It will be great!”

Trump’s tweet comes a day after his discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It remains unclear the last time the president tested negative, and while doctors maintain he’s improving, the official messages offered to the media by the White House and doctors have frequently been incomplete or at odds with each other.

Trump’s blood oxygen levels dipped below normal at least twice last week and he’s being treated with a steroid, dexamethasone, that health officials typically recommend only with severe cases of COVID-19. Trump is also on a five-day course of Remdesivir to treat the virus.

“FEELING GREAT!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning.

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Biden has said even if the president is not yet healthy enough, he would show up by himself at the town hall-style debate next Thursday if it’s deemed safe.

Tim Murtaugh, Trump communications director, told CBS news Monday that “it’s the president’s intention to debate.”

Next Thursday’s 90-minute debate is set for 9 p.m. at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. It was initially scheduled for the University of Michigan, but that plan was deemed unsafe.

Steve Scully, the political editor for C-SPAN, will moderate.

The last time the pair took the stage, the debate itself was panned by pundits and political observers, who criticized the freewheeling format and the president’s persistent interruptions of Biden and moderator Chris Wallace.

The performance prompted the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates to say that “additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.” The CPD said it would consider and announce changes and “additional tools to maintain order.”

The latest poll following the debate from NBC and The Wall Street Journal shows Biden up by 14 points nationwide.

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© 2020 MassLive.com