REPORT: Press Corps Asks CNN For Debate Access Because ‘Medical Emergency’ Could Occur


With the political world’s eyes fixed on the debate in Atlanta tonight, reports of an unusual request from the White House press corps have emerged. Reporters have apparently petitioned CNN to allow them direct access to the studio where Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to clash for the first time since 2020. The press’s urgent plea stems from fears of a possible “medical emergency” involving one of the presidential candidates during the live event.

The debate, slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET, is expected to rejuvenate the intense rivalry between Biden and Trump observed in the 2020 matchup. However, the buildup to this political showdown has taken a backseat to concerns over the candidates’ health, particularly that of Joe Biden.

Sources close to the situation revealed that the press corps currently has to watch the debate from a separate building across the street from the main venue. The arrangement has caused concerns among journalists about their ability to cover the event effectively, especially if an unexpected medical issue were to arise. The White House press corps claims that direct studio access is essential to ensure transparent and immediate reporting should any health-related incident occur, reporter Paul Sperry says.

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The press corps’ alleged request brings attention to the ongoing concerns about Biden’s health, a topic of conversation throughout his campaign. At 81, Biden is the oldest president in American history, and his age has frequently been spotlighted by critics, opponents, and even Democrats. The physical demands of the presidency, coupled with the high-pressure environment of a live televised debate, could pose significant risks to Biden’s health.

This comes at a time when Americans are facing steep prices that have stretched their budgets thin—from grocery bills to housing and even new cars. As the world presented new challenges to U.S. influence, deep divides over immigration and foreign policy have added to the tension. During this election season, some have been left feeling underwhelmed by the choice between two older candidates.

Jim Messina, a prominent Democratic strategist who directed Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, commented on the ages of the presidential contenders, noting to BBC, “There’s no hiding the fact that Biden’s 81, there’s no hiding the fact that Trump’s basically the same age.” He said, “It’s not a contest of age, it’s a contest of policy and character.”

“Part of what needs to happen on Thursday night is just to begin the conversation about the differences between them,” Messina said. The event will serve as a crucial platform to delineate their distinct policies and values.

A recent poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College revealed a significant concern among voters regarding Biden’s age. According to the survey, 73% of registered voters feel that Biden is “just too old to be an effective president.” This sentiment spans across all demographics, including voters aged 65 and older. In contrast, only 42% of registered voters expressed the same concerns about former President Trump, who is only three-and-a-half years younger than Biden.

From his descent on Air Force One’s stairs to his walks across public stages, Biden has drawn keen observations from the media while becoming a hot topic in viral videos on social media.

(URGENT POLL: Should Biden be drug tested before Thursday’s debate? )

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