The first and only vice-presidential debate will occur on Wednesday night between Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris. Given that President Donald Trump and numerous members of his inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19 following the first presidential debate, there will be even more safety protocols in place for the vice-presidential one. How can you tune in to watch the debate?
The debate, which will occur in Salt Lake City, Utah, will air on every major network starting at 9 p.m. ET. Like the first presidential debate, it will run until 10:30 p.m. ET without any commercial breaks. If you can't watch the discussion in the traditional manner with your TV, there are also ways in which you can tune into the event online. The debate will be widely available to stream on YouTube, with networks such as NBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN broadcasting the event on their respective accounts. There will be strict safety protocols during the event to ensure the health of everyone involved. Pence and Harris will be seated a little over 12 feet apart. There will also be a plexiglass partition to separate the two lawmakers, who will not shake hands or engage in any kind of physical contact during the debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan group that sponsors these events, has said that if those in attendance do not wear a mask, they will be escorted out of the location.
The decision to add plexiglass barriers to the debate stage was initially met with criticism from Pence's camp, who did not believe it was medically necessary to incorporate them. In response to that criticism, Harris campaign spokesperson Sabrina Singh told CNN, "Senator Harris will be at the debate, respecting the protections that the Cleveland Clinic has put in place to promote safety for all concerned. If the Trump administration's war on masks has now become a war on safety shields, that tells you everything you need to know about why their COVID response is a failure." Even though they voiced concerns about the matter, the Pence campaign ultimately agreed to have the barriers put in place.
This vice-presidential debate comes a few days after Trump announced that both he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Since his announcement, numerous others in the Trump camp have tested positive for the illness, including former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Thom Tillis, Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien, Trump's personal assistant Nicholas Luna, top aide Hope Hicks, top aide Stephen Miller, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Even though he has come into contact with members of Trump's team over the past several weeks, Pence has tested negative for COVID-19 as of Oct. 6. Naturally, the coronavirus pandemic, and the president's diagnosis, will likely be discussed during the debate between Pence and Harris.