Pence wants no plexiglass at upcoming VP debate

Vice President Pence is requesting that no plexiglass dividers be placed on his side of the stage during the vice presidential debate in Utah against Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump sued by Democrat over mob attack on Capitol Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post

The Biden campaign said Monday that plexiglass dividers would be installed on the debate stage in Salt Lake City.

The news came as numerous people in President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE’s administration, including the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMissouri pastor faces backlash after suggesting wives should lose weight, strive to look like Melania Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - FBI director testifies on Jan. 6 Capitol attack Overnight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions MORE, tested positive for the coronavirus late last week.


Following the president's diagnosis late Thursday night, several other top Republicans — including former White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway calls for thorough Lincoln Project probe: 'The lying has to stop' Claudia Conway advances on 'American Idol,' parents Kellyanne, George appear The swift death of the media darlings known as the Lincoln Project MORE, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonJohnson says leaving office after 2022 'probably my preference now' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage Senate braces for 'God-awful,' 'stupid' session ahead of COVID-19 relief vote MORE (Wis.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhite House downplays surprising February jobs gain, warns US far from recovery White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks MORE (Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (N.C.) — have also tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Pence and the second lady, Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceCan a common bond of service unite our nation? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - House boots Greene from committees; Senate plows ahead on budget Pence announces post-White House office, plans to move back to Indiana MORE, have both tested negative for COVID-19.  

Marc Short, chief of staff to Pence, said his team did not see plexiglass dividers as medically necessary, according to the Post. Other safety measures have already been agreed to, such as daily testing for both Pence and Harris and a 12-foot distance between them. 

“If she wants it, she’s more than welcome to surround herself with plexiglass if that makes her feel more comfortable,” Short said according to the newspaper. “It’s not needed.” 

Following the president's diagnosis, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would have the candidates stand 13 feet apart, as opposed to seven feet. 


Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE’s campaign has supported plexiglass dividers, and Biden himself has suggested that he was open to plexiglass in the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

This wouldn’t be the first time plexiglass was used during a debate. Last Saturday, South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison set up a barrier between himself and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits Senate braces for 'God-awful,' 'stupid' session ahead of COVID-19 relief vote MORE (R-S.C.) during their debate. 

The Hill has reached out to both the Trump and Biden campaigns for further comment.