Key part of Trump and Biden US Election TV debate CANCELLED due to coronavirus

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The pair will not be shaking hands in this week’s presidential debate, going against years of US politics tradition. The handshake is normally a tradition of goodwill before the heated debate takes place.

This year though, it has been banned due to social distancing measures.

Mr Trump and Mr Biden will also forego the elbow touch – generally encouraged as an alternative to a handshake throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

However, both men will not be wearing face masks – and neither will the debate’s moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

Yesterday, Mr Trump called for Mr Biden to be subject to a drug test ahead of the debate to ensure nothing enhanced the former Vice-President’s performance.

He wrote: “I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night.

“Naturally, I will agree to take one also. His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???”

READ: Donald Trump MELTDOWN: Outrage as POTUS demands Biden takes drug test

Mr Biden said he had no comment when asked about Mr Trump’s demands by a reporter – though Kate Bedingfield, the Biden deputy campaign manager, issued a strongly-worded response.

She said: “Vice President Biden intends to deliver his debate answers in words. If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it.”

The presidential debate this year is due to be held in Cleveland, Ohio.

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There are going to be three such debates in the run-up to the highly tense election this year – one on Tuesday, another on October 15 in Florida, and another on October 22 in Tennessee.

Debates are generally seen as intense and high-risk for both candidates as they cannot be rehearsed or controlled by campaign staff.

Tomorrow’s debate is due to cover six main topics including the records of both men, the coronavirus pandemic, and recent racial protests across the country.

The BBC’s North America reporter Anthony Zurcher said last week the public is likely to be more focussed on how Mr Biden performs because Mr Trump’s public speaking qualities are “familiar”.

He said: “Biden’s task will be to post a sure and steady performance.

“He needs to dispel concerns about his age and mental alacrity and avoid the kind of verbal stumbles that have bedeviled him in the past.”

Ahead of the debate, Mr Trump has issued multiple jabs at his opponent on Twitter, appearing to mock occasions on which Mr Biden spoke on national television.

The third factor will be the event’s moderator Chris Wallace, who is a registered Democrat despite working for the Fox News network which analysts say Mr Trump has typically favoured.

In addition to the debate being contact-free, other social distancing measures due to be in place will include a limited audience of around 75 to 80 people.

In addition, interviews will have to be scheduled after the debate with ‘surrogates’.

Voters in the US are due to go to the polls on November 3 to vote in the country’s next president.

If Mr Biden wins, he will be inaugurated in January next year. If Mr Trump wins, he will remain in office for four more years.

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