In light of President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19, along with more than 20 White House staffers, and a slew of Republican elected officials, the Commission on Presidential Debates will enforce stricter COVID-19 precautions at Wednesday’s debate between Vice President Pence and Senator Kamala Harris.
It was announced Monday that the two candidates will be separated by plexiglass. This comes on the heels of Friday’s announcement that anyone who refuses to wear a mask at the event will be escorted out of the hall. The candidates will also be seated 13 feet apart instead of seven. All of these extra precautions have reportedly come from the Biden-Harris campaign.
The commission and the Cleveland Clinic medical staff have come under heavy criticism for allowing the first family and Trump entourage to sit maskless at last week’s presidential debate. Several eyewitnesses have said that the Trump family and supporters refused to put on a mask when offered one by medical staff in the debate hall.
Vice President Pence has also been criticized by some in the media for continuing to campaign and not self-isolate after recent exposure to White House staffers who have tested positive for the virus. This goes against his administration’s own Coronavirus Task Force guidelines that state that anyone who has had exposure to someone with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days even if they tested negative for the coronavirus.
It is believed that the Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26 served as a “super-spreader” event for positive COVID-19 cases. Pence and several others in the administration attended the event and at least 11 attendees have since tested positive for the coronavirus–the most recent being White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and top adviser Stephen MIller.