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Presidential debate canceled after Trump declines virtual option

The final debate is scheduled to take place Oct. 22.

Vote stickers for the elction
The final debate is set for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET's coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

The second presidential debate, slated for Oct. 15, has been canceled. It was scheduled to take place virtually due to COVID-19, but President Donald Trump declined this option Thursday. The final debate will still take place Oct. 22, the Commission on Presidential Debates said Friday.

The final debate will be in person at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, and will involve "testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols" for health and safety, the commission said. 

The decision to make the second debate virtual came after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Thursday, Trump's lead physician said the president "has completed his course of therapy for COVID-19." White House physician Sean Conley estimated Trump will return to public engagements on Saturday, but he has yet to give any information on the president's most recent negative test.

Trump departed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, after his doctors said Sunday that his health was improving as he responded to treatment for COVID-19.