Kamala Harris told Vice President Mike Pence that telling the truth is essential to respect in a statement that quickly went viral on Twitter during the Vice Presidential debate.
“You respect the American people when you tell them the truth,” Harris said during a segment about the coronavirus.
Harris criticized Trump for not publicizing knowledge about the coronavirus in January, weeks before sweeping mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19. Questions about the coronavirus were the subject of the first segment of the Vice Presidential debate. Harris was asked how a Biden administration would deal with the pandemic in January, and Pence was asked about the spread of COVID-19 through the White House.
The Vice Presidential debate held at 9 p.m. Eastern time on October 7 is the only one of its kind scheduled for the general election. It is being held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and moderated by Susan Page of USA Today. The debate will end at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and will not include commercial breaks.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Vice Presidential Debate Involved Heightened Precaution Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Vice Presidential debate was designed with heightened efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, two days after President Donald Trump was released from Walter Reed hospital for treatment for the coronavirus. Just days before the first presidential debate of the general election, his senior aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for COVID-19. Hours later, Trump learned he and First Lady Melania Trump also had COVID-19.
Vice President Mike Pence was in regular close contact with Trump before the president quarantined, but he has repeatedly tested negative, CNN reported.
Pence and Harris will be seated about 12 feet apart, compared to the seven feet of separation between Trump and Biden at the first presidential debate, according to Fox News. They will be separated by Plexiglas.
Harris and Pence will not share a handshake before the debate, which Trump and Biden also chose to forgo. Unlike Trump and Biden, Harris and Pence will be seated throughout the debate. They will also be tested for COVID-19 before entering the debate hall.
There will be a limited number of guests permitted, and anyone who is not wearing a mask will be escorted outside, CNN reported. Pence and Harris will not be required to wear masks onstage.
The debate will consist of nine segments, designating about 10 minutes to each segment, according to CNN. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to the moderator’s opening question, followed by deeper discussion facilitated by the monitor. Neither Harris nor Pence will make opening statements.
Joe Biden aide Symone Sanders told CNN Harris is not going to use the debate stage to “eviscerate Mike Pence.”
“She is there to really talk to people at home and what they’re feeling,” Sanders said.
Pence is planning to flip the conversation from the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus to Harris’ support as a senator to Medicare for All, CNN reported. The discussion will be part of a strategy to tie the Biden/Harris ticket to the far left elements of the Democratic party.