Vice Presidential Debate At U Of U Just Hours Away
Oct 7, 2020, 6:25 AM | Updated: 7:24 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The nation’s eyes are on Salt Lake City hours ahead of Wednesday evening’s vice presidential debate.
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris will take the stage at 7 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall.
Health and safety is top of mind amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Extra space between the candidates and a plexiglass divider have been added to the debate stage as an added precaution for the candidates.
The number of people in the audience will also be extremely limited – so limited, in fact, that not even the president of the university was able to get a ticket.
Authorities are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to security.
Buildings across campus are closed and won’t be opening Wednesday. The US Secret Service spent Tuesday night sweeping the perimeter, and every door, cabinet and drawer had to be unlocked for the inspection.
“You hope for the best, but we are prepared for any scenario that may come forward,” said Jason Perry, chairman of the University of Utah debate steering committee. “We just need this to be a great debate, where we focus on some substance, we get the students involved, and the people of the State of Utah get to showcase the Utah way.”
As for coronavirus safety measures, no one will be allowed inside the secured perimeter without proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and that includes the candidates.
Pence and Harris have both tested negative since arriving in Utah.
There has been some extra concern around Pence due to his potential contact with President Donald Trump.
Some have suggested the vice president debate remotely. However, a White House physician has reiterated that Pence has tested negative many times and he has no symptoms.
The doctor added that the vice president has not been around the president or any other senior members of the administration since Monday of last week, which was four days before Trump tested positive.
While there may not be many people physically inside during the debate, the university is expecting up to 100 million people to be watching the event live.