First presidential debate gets a new venue amid pandemic worries!!

The presidential debate before the general election is one of the traditions in the history of US elections. The first presidential debate took place in 1960, followed by 16 years later in 1976, and is continued every four years after that. These debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a nonprofit corporation. CPD also conducts vice presidential debates in tandem with presidential debates. Three debates between the presidential candidates are scheduled for 2020 general elections along with one vice presidential debate. However, this year’s debates are going to be quite different as the country is still fighting the coronavirus pandemic, which created havoc globally.

With the virus scare, the first presidential debate is now moved to Cleveland as per the organizers. On Monday, the CDP announced that Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic would co-host the first debate on September 29 between President Donald Trump and the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Interestingly, both Trump and Biden have participated in the debates previously. Trump took part against Hillary Clinton in 2016 debates while Joe Biden debated against Paul Ryan of Republican party in 2012 debates. The University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, was scheduled to conduct the first set of debates initially, but they pulled themselves from hosting responsibilities due to a rise in coronavirus cases.

Clarifying their decision to pull out of the debate, John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame’s university put out a statement - “With a reduction in the number of student attendees in the debate hall, volunteering opportunities, we believed to host a meaningful debate where students can engage in the American political process. But the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic have led us to withdraw the hosting opportunity.” On the other hand, Western Reserve University, along with Cleveland Clinic, are excited to grab the opportunity with both the hands. The Ohio-based university confirmed that it would establish risk mitigation procedures to ensure a safe-debating environment. Complete details about the event will be released soon by the university. The second debate scheduled to take place on October 15 at the University of Michigan also moved to Miami.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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