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 Harris (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 Trump’s administration, including the president and first lady Melania Trump, 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 Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — have also tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Pence and the second lady, Karen Pence, 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 Biden’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 Graham (R-S.C.) during their debate. 

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

Tags 2020 Debates 2020 election Coronavirus Donald Trump Joe Biden Karen Pence Kellyanne Conway Lindsey Graham Melania Trump Mike Lee Mike Pence Ron Johnson Thom Tillis Trump positive test

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