Pence, Harris to debate in sole VP matchup of 2020

The showdown comes as President Donald Trump and several in his orbit have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Vp Debate
Courtesy: ABC News

With plexiglass and more than 12 feet of distance separating them, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California will debate in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night in the first and only one-on-one matchup between the vice presidential candidates.

The showdown comes as President Donald Trump and several in his orbit have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, raising questions on a transfer of power to the vice president were Trump at 74 — or Democratic nominee Joe Biden at 77 — to become too ill to serve.

The 90-minute debate airs commercial-free from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET on ABC and ABC News Live. Network coverage begins at 8 p.m. with a one-hour “20/20” special, “Pence vs. Harris: The Vice Presidential Debate.” ABC News Live will begin streaming coverage at 7 p.m. with ABC News’ political team providing context and analysis on both platforms following the debate.

The debate’s format will be divided into nine 10-minute sections with each candidate having two minutes to respond to the opening question in each segment and the remaining time allowed for follow ups. Moderator Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief of USA Today, has not released the topics. The sole vice presidential debate follows Trump and Biden’s chaotic debate last week in Cleveland.

It’s likely the coronavirus crisis will take center stage as Pence serves as head of the group tasked with containing the pandemic and Harris, a former prosecutor, has argued the case against the administration’s handling of COVID-19 in recent campaign appearances.

The University of Utah, the site of Wednesday’s debate, has stressed that fewer than 100 student attendees will be spaced out in the audience and that masks will be required.

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