Because people, actual people, are going to be in his presence asking him questions about how coronavirus and its economic impact affected them, and they’re going to want and expect not only strength, but some kind of human empathy, not to mention answers to hard issues, and it’s abundantly clear Trump has none of that. There’s no way he’s going to wade into that, is there?
He’s a sociopath. He doesn’t recognize the need for empathy. What he fears most is being humiliated. Since he won’t be in front of an adoring crowd and have no control of the narrative, he is unlikely to expose himself to a hostile audience.
He will. And he’ll insist that he’s done a fantastic job, and anyone who says differently is listening to fake news. He’ll tell people that they’re asking rude questions, and his base will eat it up. It’ll reinforce in them that he’s the right person for the job, and reinforce in everyone else exactly how fundamentally unfit he is. He’s not going to pass up a chance to be on national TV and be able to brag about his approval numbers and his ratings. Especially to a captive tv audience.
If they actually have one, that is. He’ll only cancel due to coronavirus.
Trump does not need a debate or townhall to get media coverage. If he needs to talk to his base, he will have a rally or do an interview on Fox News. He will not expose himself to ridicule or challenge unless he is sure he can control the narrative. You see that in his frustration with being asked difficult questions by reporters he doesn’t like.
He’s already laid the groundwork for not debating at all, and I’m guessing that’s the route he goes.