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Election Politics

COVID will be front and center at vice-presidential debate

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Vice President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger Sen. Kamala Harris will meet on stage to debate Wednesday night. With the coronavirus pandemic still sweeping the country and President Donald Trump now quarantined with the virus himself, there is no doubt much of the debate will focus on COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Pence’s team agreed to allow a plexiglass barrier to be placed around the vice president, a request that was made by the Biden campaign. Pence, who has tested negative for the virus, was around Trump and attended the same Rose Garden event that many believe is responsible for several top GOP officials contracting the virus.

“The Vice President is looking forward to having a conversation about the marked shift left that Joe Biden wants to take this country, so we are not going to let a barrier prevent the Vice President from making the case for four more years of Donald Trump,” a Pence aide said.

Pence has been the leader of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce and will likely come under fire from Harris for not doing enough to protect the country from COVID-19. Biden and Harris have been very critical of the White House and blame Trump and his administration for the number of COVID-19 deaths in America.

“WH Task Force met today. Working around the clock to expand Testing, PPE, Therapeutics & expect to have a Vaccine by end of 2020. Grateful for the prayers for President @realDonaldTrump, @FLOTUS & EVERY American family dealing with COVID-19. We Will Get Through This Together,” Pence tweeted last week.

In addition to the coronavirus, President Trump’s decision to appoint a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court will almost certainly come up. Harris is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was a leading opponent to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She is set to fully participate in the upcoming committee hearings for nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Pence will surely use the nomination to sure up the conservative and pro-life vote, a constituency that is strongly supportive of Judge Barrett.

“Just days after the election the Supreme Court will hear a case that could strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. It’s a decision that could take away health care for 20M Americans and take away protections for pre-existing conditions. We must fight this,” Harris said in a tweet.

One thing is for sure, the vice-presidential debate is expected to be much more civilized than last week’s debate between Trump and Biden. This is the one and only debate between the two vice-presidential candidates.

PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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