The Story From Salt Lake City: Recapping The Vice Presidential Debate
Sen. Harris gets the first question. It’s about what a Biden administration would do in the first months of their term, should they win, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They knew what was happening and they didn’t tell you,” Sen. Harris begins.
— 1A (@1a) October 8, 2020
Concerns over a coronavirus outbreak in the White House kept Republican Vice President Pence and Democratic Sen. Harris separated by plexiglass barriers to try and minimize exposure.
Errin Haines wrote about what was at stake in this debate for The 19th:
The role of the vice president has taken on outsized importance this cycle, as whichever candidate gets the job will have to confront the economic and public health crises caused by the pandemic. And with two presidential candidates in their late seventies — including President Donald Trump, who is among the more than 7.5 million Americans who have contracted COVID-19, and both men in the vulnerable age group of people disproportionately dying of the disease — the health and ages of the vice presidential candidates (Harris is 55 and Pence is 61) is also a consideration.
Moderator Susan Page of USA Today posed questions about coronavirus, climate change, racial injustice, Roe v. Wade and other topics. But although the tone of this event was less chaotic than the last presidential debate, that didn’t mean candidates always answered the questions.
Both candidates frequently sidestepped questions altogether. The moderator chose to move on to new topics rather than pose follow-up questions, which was a lost opportunity on some key issues that could have made news or at least educated voters about the candidates’ positions. Both ignored a key question that could be top of mind with Biden’s age and the president’s illness — what would you do if the president became incapacitated?
The event was broadcast live from Salt Lake City, Utah. Now, we’re taking your calls and questions on what you noticed during the vice presidential debate.
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