Washington DC [USA], October 7 (ANI/Sputnik): US Vice President Mike Pence and his rival Kamala Harris square off on Wednesday for their only round of televised pre-election debates eight days after their superiors, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, met on stage for the first time with unclear follow-up prospects.
The 90-minute event, which will be hosted by The University of Utah in Salt Lake City, gained an unexpected prominence after Trump's coronavirus infection raised concerns over the health and longevity of the presidential candidates - both the Republican incumbent, who is 74, and his 77-year-old Democratic opponent.
As an extra precaution organizers decided to install a plexiglass shield between the debaters and to nearly double the distance between them on stage - from seven to 13 feet.
The vice presidential debate will begin at 9:00 p.m EST (1:00 a.m. GMT on Thursday) and will run without commercial breaks. The contest will be moderated by Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today. The show will be divided into nine 10-minute segments each devoted to a specific topic.
Prior to the debate the White House Physician Jesse Schonau announced that Pence has not been in close contact with Trump or other administration personnel who tested positive for coronavirus. The vice president is encouraged to go about his normal activities and does not need to quarantine, he assured in a memorandum.
On Friday, Trump was admitted to the Walter Reed Medical Center but on Monday was discharged and returned to the White House. The President tweeted that he looks forward to participating in the debate with Biden in Miami, Florida, on October 15. The Democratic nominee said earlier that further debates are possible if approved by "the scientists." Trump and Biden also have the third debate round scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Their first showdown, held last Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio, was marred by insults and frequent mutual interruptions. The organizers promised to amend the rules to give a moderator more tools to enforce order. (ANI/Sputnik)