New rules set for vice presidential debate after COVID-19 outbreak


The vice presidential debate Wednesday will go on — but with the candidates 12 feet apart, instead of seven.

The Commission on Presidential Debates agreed to a demand for additional safety protocols from the Biden campaign for the debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris.

The two candidates will now be spaced 12 feet apart instead of the originally agreed upon seven, Politico reported. Another request from the Biden campaign, that both candidates stand during the debate, was rejected by Republicans, who prefer a seated event.

A COVID-19 outbreak surrounding Team Trump that has sidelined the president and his top staff had thrown the event into uncertainty. The Biden campaign lodged a “health and safety” complaint Friday about inadequate social distancing.

After originally refusing the request, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh consented. “We are open to more space between the candidates,” he told the website.

Banners hang outside Kingsbury Hall ahead of the vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City.Julio Cortez/AP

Pence remains COVID-19 negative and for now both parties are preparing for the faceoff in Salt Lake City, Utah.