United State President Donald Trump has on Thursday said he would not participate in a debate with Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden scheduled for next Thursday.
Trump’s decision came after a new format was announced by the debates commission in which each candidate would appear at remote locations.
The president in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, said the new virtual format announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates was not acceptable to him.
Trump said, “I’m not gonna waste my time on a personal debate. Sit behind a computer, ridiculous. They cut you off… I’m not doing a virtual debate.”
In order to protect the health and safety of all involved the commission the decision to do a virtual debate was made. Last Thursday, Trump tested positive for COVID-19, raising concerns that he had infected Biden and moderator Chris Wallace during the first debate on the preceding Tuesday. Biden has tested negative.
He said the event should be held in person because he is not contagious.
The Biden campaign has signed on to the virtual debate format.
Earlier, the first and only U.S. Vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris has been described as far more civil than last week’s debacle between president Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.
The coronavirus pandemic was one of the most important topics of the night. Harris said president Trump’s response to the pandemic is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of the United States.
More than 210,000 Americans have died so far and at least 7.5 million have caught the virus, including Trump himself.
In his response, Pence defended president Trump, saying his administration has been very successful.
When asked about the rose garden event for Trump’s supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that has been identified as the super-spreader event for the White House virus outbreak, Pence tried to defend the decision to hold the event even with attendees wearing no masks.
Harris insists there is a worsening justice system in the country, and that justice did not prevail in the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd’s cases.
Biden and Harris both evaded many questions and decided to pivot to other topics they’d rather treat.
The next U.S. Presidential debate is scheduled for next Thursday.
UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine For Rollout Next Week
The United Kingdom has on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine opening the way for mass immunization which will begin next week for those most at risk across the UK.
Before decisions by the US and Europe, the British government has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid after it was authorized for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)
The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorization in the UK after Brexit.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine which the UK has bought 40m doses has shown to be 95% effective in its final trials with no serious side effects against a virus that’s killed nearly 1.5 million persons globally.
According to a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman “the government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.
It added in the statement that “this follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness
Canada: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 12000
Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have passed another grim milestone of 12, 000 fatalities.
The country also recorded fifty-four hundred sixty-eight new cases of coronavirus infections which pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 370,014. More than 290,000 persons have recovered from the virus.
A new report from an epidemiological analysis showed about 90 per cent of those who died were seniors, from 70 years and older.
The data also shows a significant increase in patients hospitalized from the virus.
New York City Will Reopen Elementary Schools And Reduce Hybrid Learning
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed public elementary schools will begin reopening next Monday.
The largest public school system in the country closed in November when the city reached a seven-day covid-19 testing positivity average of 3%.
Meanwhile, middle and high schools will remain closed. There are more than one million students in New York City’s public school system, and around 330,000 students could be eligible to return to school under this plan.