The first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will occur in Ohio on September 29. Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic will be co-hosting the event at their shared health campus.
The debate was originally slated to be held at the University of Notre Dame, however, the university was forced to withdraw from hosting the event citing coronavirus concerns.
CEO and President of the Cleveland Clinic Tom Mihaljevic and Case Western Reserve President Barbara Snyder put out a joint statement that said, “This pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of healthcare and scientific discovery in unprecedented ways. To have the presidential candidates discuss these issues in our innovative learning space represents a tremendous opportunity for both institutions – and our entire region.”
This presidential debate will be the first major debate scheduled since April.
The Cleveland Clinic will be advising the Commission for Presidential Debates on health concerns, implementing safety measures such as the use of disinfectants, social distancing and crowd size controls should the debate be open to the public.
The move to the Cleveland location comes as Ohio is viewed as a battleground state in November. Ohio is widely considered a “must-win state” because almost every presidential election victory since 1860 has won The Buckeye State.
Ohio has had a mixed voting record of late with it supporting President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Then in 2016, Ohioans voted for President Donald Trump.
The 90-minute debate will run from 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET, have no commercial breaks and be broadcast by the White House pool networks.
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Ben Kolodny is a reporter for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. You can follow Ben on Twitter. Tips can be sent to [email protected]
Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Debate Stage” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 3.0.