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 HarrisTwo 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report Biden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post 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 TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE’s administration, including the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book If another 9/11 happened in a divided 2021, could national unity be achieved again? Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report 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 ConwayCook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House Sean Spicer, Russ Vought sue Biden over Naval Board removal MORE, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Liberal group launches campaign urging Republicans to support Biden's agenda Domestic extremists return to the Capitol MORE (Wis.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook MORE (Utah) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (N.C.) — have also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Pence and the second lady, Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceMcCarthy, Ducey speak at Pence fundraiser: report Jill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Pence refused to leave Capitol during riot: book 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 BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system 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 GrahamGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic MORE (R-S.C.) during their debate.
The Hill has reached out to both the Trump and Biden campaigns for further comment.