Moments after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said next week’s debate should be canceled if President Donald Trump still has coronavirus, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume dismissed that idea out of hand, saying the debate needs to occur even if Trump shows up infected.
With the president still recovering from his COVID-19 diagnosis that resulted in a three-day hospital stay in Walter Reed, Biden told reporters on Tuesday night that while he’s “looking forward” to debating Trump on Oct. 15, they “have to follow very strict guidelines” for it to happen.
“I think if he still has COVID, then we shouldn’t have a debate,” he added.
Ahead of Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate, which has sparked a fight between the candidates’ camps over coronavirus safety measures due to Vice President Mike Pence’s proximity to the president and other infected White House staffers, Hume acknowledged Trump’s catching COVID-19 is “not a good situation” for the president politically.
“However, when it comes to the disease and whether we should let it dominate our lives, I think he is on the right track,” Hume, who has regularly downplayed the dangers of the virus, added.
Bringing up Biden’s debate remarks, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum wondered aloud what Hume thought about the ex-veep opening the door for calling off the debate if Trump still has COVID-19 next week.
“Look, haven’t the medical authorities been telling us all this time that to avoid infection you stay a certain distance apart,” he said. “And you wear masks and then even in certain circumstances you might have a partition that separates you from others, and that way you can get on with life.”
“There’s a real need to get on with life,” Hume continued. “And presidential and vice-presidential debates are part of that. So the idea that the president is still potentially infected in some way, that you couldn’t stage an in-person debate flies in the face of all that we’ve been told about this disease.”
He concluded by invoking Biden’s regular mantra that he’ll “follow the science” on coronavirus, saying that we’re in a “whole new ball game” if the virus can be transmitted to others even if “precautionary measures” such as mask-wearing and social distancing are followed.
“I don’t think we are,” he snarked.