Updated 8:42 p.m.
In Wednesday's vice presidential debate, Republican Mike Pence faced considerable pressure to boost coronavirus-stricken President Donald Trump’s flagging reelection hopes. Democrat Kamala Harris stepped on stage having to balance her role as Joe Biden’s validator with her own historic presence as the first Black woman on a major party national ticket.
The debate took place at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Moderator Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, still had some work to do to enforce the agreed-upon rules of the debate — although, in the end, it was a far more civil encounter than the combative debate between Trump and Biden last week.
Beyond the candidates, there was a third participant on the stage: plexiglass. Each candidate had a clear partition on the side of the desk that faced the other, and the candidates were spaced more than 12 feet apart. Other pandemic-friendly changes included audience chairs spaced roughly 6 feet apart and requirements that everyone entering the hall test negative for the virus and wear a mask. The debate was the only meeting between the two vice presidential contenders and came after the president's diagnosis with the coronavirus.