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Home / News / World /  Vice Presidential Debate 2020: Pence blames China for covid, Harris blames Trump

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris squared it off on the debate stage Wednesday night(US time).

The 90-minute debate took place at 9 pm ET at the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City. The prime time debate comes at a point where the coronavirus has reemerged as the leading issue after President Donald Trump's hospitalization.

Latest updates from vice-presidential debate:

14) Trump’s trade war with China cost 300,000 American jobs, says Senator Kamala Harris

13) “It’s about relationships and the thing that has always been part of the strength of our nation," Harris said. “In addition to our great military has been that we keep our word. But Donald Trump doesn’t understand that because he doesn’t understand what it means to be honest."

12) Pence said "China is to blame for the coronavirus," and "President Trump is not happy about it."

Harris said Mr. Trump's approach to China has lost American lives, American jobs, and American standing.

11) "The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," Harris said as the debate began at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

10) Harris was asked if Americans should take the vaccine and if she would. Harris says that if doctors “tells us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it."

Vice President Mike Pence says there will be a vaccine produced in record time. He says, “I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives."

9) Pence responded, at first, with grace, saying that it was a “privilege" to share the stage with Harris. But he endorsed the whole of President Donald Trump’s response to the virus. Since February, more than 7 million Americans have been infected, more than 212,000 have died and last week, the president himself contracted Covid-19.

“From the very first day, President Donald Trump has put the health of America first," Pence said.

8) Senator Kamala Harris branded the response to the Covid-19 pandemic under Donald Trump as the "greatest failure" of any US administration.

"The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country," Harris, running mate to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, said.

7) The debate has started.

6) The candidates will sit just over 12 feet apart, as opposed to the original 7 feet that had been planned

5) A pair of plexiglass barriers will separate the two and there will be no opening or closing statements by the participants. Pence and Harris will each be seated behind a desk, unlike the presidential debate. As was the case with the presidential debate, the candidates will be tested ahead of time and won't shake hands.

4) For the audience witnessing it live, there will be "a small number of ticketed guests" who will be tested before the debate, but they will be escorted out if they do not wear masks during the event.

3) The format of the debate will be similar to the widely panned first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden. It will be divided into nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each, and there will be no commercial breaks, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. Unlike the presidential debate, topics are not being disclosed ahead of time.

2) Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief, will moderate. Page has covered six presidential administrations and 10 presidential elections.

1) The moderator will ask an opening question to Pence first, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond, the commission said. Page will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

Page will be seated 12 feet away from the candidates as well.

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