When Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris meet in Salt Lake City on Wednesday for their first and only debate, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will literally be present on stage between them.
The Commission on Presidential Debates says plexiglass will be used to limit any airborne viral spread between the Democratic vice presidential nominee, 55, and Pence, 61. The two candidates will also not shake hands or physically touch.
“There will be a plexiglass divider between the two candidates and the candidates and the moderator,” said commission co-chair Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., according to The Los Angeles Times. “The Trump campaign agreed to that so long as we don’t surround Vice President Pence all the way around.”
A spokeswoman for Pence, the head of the federal government's coronavirus task force, reacted derisively to the preventative measures as the Trump campaign moves to reframe their much-scrutinized handling of the pandemic as the Nov. 3 election approaches.
“If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it,” Katie Miller, Pence's spokeswoman, said to Politico.
They know Biden is weak on debating so they're hiding behind the 'its a danger'. The commission could take precautions and organise a live event; masks, shields, greater distance between the participants. But they won't.The commission, with the backing of their health advisers, announced on Thursday morning that -- because Trump tested positive for the coronavirus -- the debate that was scheduled for Miami would be held virtually, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations. Trump swiftly rejected that plan, saying he would not show up and setting off a series of events that put the future of all general election debates into question.
In response to Trump's cancellation, a Biden spokeswoman swiftly said that they would have agreed to a virtual format for next Thursday's contest, but because the President had seemingly bailed, they would book another format for the former vice president to take questions. And they did just that when, later in the day, ABC News announced they would be hosting a town hall with the former vice president.
The Trump campaign, in response to their candidate backing out of the debate, issued three statements on Thursday that slammed the commission, pushed the Biden campaign to agree to an in-person debate and said they would be willing to push the October 15 debate back a week to October 22 and then move the third debate to October 29, just days before the November 3 election.
But Biden's campaign rejected their proposal, with campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield saying in response, "Donald Trump doesn't make the debate schedule; the debate commission does."
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The news of the third debate leaving a major foreign policy focus out was met with further derision from the Trump campaign, which has already lambasted the Commission for attempting to make the debates virtual, and for choosing moderators with a track record of bias.
The National Pulse understands that while “national security” has been included in the list of topics by moderator Kristen Welker, the campaigns had long been discussing the subject being the majority of the debate, rather than regurgitating on issues such as COVID, climate change, and race.
Yes, the moderation team has decided it's best to keep them organized here.