Joe Biden speaking in Hagerstown, Maryland, Oct. 6. Photo: Brendan Smualowski/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden said Tuesday when asked about facing President Trump in the second presidential debate on Oct. 15, "I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate."

Why it matters: Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus last week. Though he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening and his physician said he's not experiencing symptoms, a person can be contagious up to 10 days after the symptoms resolve, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What they're saying: "I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn’t have a debate," Biden said. "I think we are gonna have to follow very strict guidelines.

  • "Too many people have been infected. It's a very serious problem, so I will be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do."

The other side: "President Trump will be healthy and will be there," said Tim Murtaugh, director of the president's campaign. "There's no getting out of this one for Biden and his protectors in the media can’t cover for him."

The big picture: President Trump was not experiencing coronavirus symptoms and is doing "extremely well," according to a memo released by White House physician Sean Conley on Tuesday.

  • However, Conley said in a briefing on Monday that while the president's condition is improving, he "may not be entirely out of the woods yet" and the next few days will be critical to the course of his recovery.

Go deeper

What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
12 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Trump reaches for oily lifeline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's campaign is making energy policy a prominent part of its closing swing state attacks against Joe Biden — especially in Pennsylvania, a state critical to Trump's reelection effort where he's trailing in the polls.

Driving the news: Trump's efforts include a new ad in Pennsylvania alleging that his Democratic presidential rival would crush the state's gas industry, and his campaign has aggressively deployed surrogates talking about energy in recent days.

New Hampshire paper backs Biden in first Democratic endorsement in over 100 years

Photo: Jim Watson, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The New Hampshire Union Leader, the conservative-leaning Manchester-based newspaper, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Sunday.

Why it matters: It's the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat for president in over 100 years, after it broke from more than a century of backing Republicans to endorse libertarian Gary Johnson over President Trump in 2016.