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Major interest expected for Vice Presidential debate in Salt Lake City

Viewers will consider likelihood of Pence or Harris becoming President

By Ricky Browne

The US Vice Presidential debate is set to take place in Salt Lake City, Utah tonight, with the political stage vastly different from the first Presidential debate a week ago, with even more focus on the coronavirus.

Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence is set to take to the stage with Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, in the first and only debate between the two candidates.

Kamala Harris

The debate will take on special significance as the mortality of the two presidential candidates — both septuagenarians — has been exposed. President Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus shortly after last week’s debate, and was taken to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington to be treated.

President Donald Trump

At 74 and overweight Trump was at hieghtened risk of dying from the disease. But to the regret of many Democrats, Trump was able to recover quickly, leaving the hospital on Monday. He appears to be much better, though still perhaps short of breath, after treatment with steroids, experimental drugs and receiving oxygen. He is in fighting mood, telling people they should not be dominated by the disease, and deliberately removed his mask in front of TV cameras for his staged return back to the White House.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden

Meanwhile, Joe Biden who is 77 years old and regular wears a face mask, continues to test negative for the coronavirus. This inability to contract the disease may put Biden at a disadvantage, according to the President, as he lacks the understanding that comes with having experienced the disease first hand.

Nevertheless, the mortality of both candidates must be foremost in the minds of many voters, particularly the eight percent who say they have not yet made up their minds who to vote for.

As a consequence, the likelihood of the next Vice President actually becoming President should be seen as far greater than in previous elections. Vice President Pence at 61 years old, is a former Governor of Indian and already has a national reputation of being understated in comparison to the President and a safe pair of hands, though (or maybe because) he is also seen as being a strong Christian.

Less is known about California Senator Kamala Harris, except that the 55-year-old was a State prosecutor and performed poorly in the Democratic race, except for a moment when she appeared to strongly criticize the eventual candidate Joe Biden. An American of mixed Jamaican and Indian heritage, she got the role of Biden’s running mate, after he promised that he would be choosing a woman candidate.

The Vice Presidential debate is unlikely to be anywhere near as fiery as last week’s Presidential debate. But viewership should be quite high, as voters consider whether they would want either one of these two people to be President.

Susan Page

Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, is set to be the moderator for the evening. It is expected that she will have an easier time of it than Chris Wallace, who had great difficulty keeping the first Presidential debate on track.

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