On Thursday, October 8, the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the second Presidential Debate, scheduled for October 15, would be held virtually "in order to protect the health and safety of all involved."
The Commission was doubtless referring to President Trump's recent positive tests for the virus. The CDC recommends that patients remain quarantined for roughly two weeks following their diagnosis, especially if, like Trump, the patient displays serious symptoms.
After the Commission announced the virtual format to their debate, however, President Trump refused to participate, telling Fox Business:
"I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That's not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate - it's ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want."
The President's son, Eric, backed him up on Twitter, where he stunningly tried to paint Joe Biden as a coward because Trump pulled out of the event.
So Biden refuses to debate @realDonaldTrump face to face but will appear in person for a town hall. What a coward. https://t.co/CmQB6u13Iy— Eric Trump (@Eric Trump)1602185108.0
#BidensACoward— Eric Trump (@Eric Trump)1602185214.0
In Eric's mind, Donald Trump pulling out of a debate is a sure sign of weakness...
...from the Biden campaign.
@Kyfan58 @EricTrump Biden’s a coward because Trump refuses to debate him? This one is making my head hurt. I can’t… https://t.co/NwJITKhDVH— Nancy Rosenzweig (@Nancy Rosenzweig)1602201370.0
@EricTrump Biden has a son who risked his life in service to the United States of America. Donald Trump has a son… https://t.co/fIzUe5u5K2— It’s Me Cathy G! (@It’s Me Cathy G!)1602212124.0
Your dad hid in a bunker. Your dad faked bone spurs to avoid Vietnam. Your dad won’t release his taxes. Who’s the… https://t.co/6cvqNw7Tbd— MrsMagoo (@MrsMagoo)1602220360.0
Twitter was pretty unanimous in its disagreement with Eric's analysis.
@EricTrump #TrumpIsACoward— Melissa (@Melissa)1602203712.0
really? more than your dad? seriously? https://t.co/fLhcVOu7P9— vordo (@vordo)1602186341.0
Wasn't it Donald Trump who pulled out of the debate or did I imagine that?.... https://t.co/W1AGBpuCId— Aodhán Michael Connolly (@Aodhán Michael Connolly)1602194085.0
President Trump has a long history of behavior many would find "cowardly."
@EricTrump https://t.co/LHL56cJmtr— Office of The Vaccinated Joe Gerard 🌈 (@Office of The Vaccinated Joe Gerard 🌈)1602185362.0
@EricTrump Why won't Biden infect himself with COVID-19 like a REAL MAN?— Paul 👻 (@Paul 👻)1602185264.0
Weird flex when daddy won't debate but alright. https://t.co/MBcTOercDA— Rich (@Rich)1602188648.0
Some political analysts believe Trump is unwilling to debate virtually because, in his words, "they [can] cut you off whenever they want."
Anyone who saw the President's first debate with Joe Biden will know how important interrupting and rambling are to his strategy.
Trump is the one who chickened out. https://t.co/dkeEAcc76Z— Spandan @ Reclaim the Fight 👀 🏳️🌈 🇺🇸 (@Spandan @ Reclaim the Fight 👀 🏳️🌈 🇺🇸)1602186508.0
Who knows if the second debate will even happen but Trump's refusal to participate isn't going to hurt Joe Biden.
@EricTrump This kid's so upset that #TrumpIsACoward AND #ChickenTrump are both trending that he's coming with the "… https://t.co/2hjZ1uT1GW— WernerKlopek (@WernerKlopek)1602186260.0
@EricTrump Your dad vs. an eagle https://t.co/dR7mPGijqk— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer)1602252606.0
It seems Eric Trump admires his father so much that even the President's political missteps seem genius. How adorably disconnected from reality!