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At vice-presidential debate, Trump’s health likely to be in focus



Donald Trump’s health is likely to take centre stage at Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate, after the U.S. president and several of his inner circle tested positive for coronavirus.

U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democrats’ nominee, will face off in Salt Lake City, Utah, less than a month before the Nov. 3, election.

Trump’s handling of the pandemic is also expected to be in focus. Some 210,500 people have died from coronavirus in the United States.

The debate between the prospective deputies, which usually plays second fiddle to the three presidential debates, takes on more significance this election cycle due to the age of the presidential contenders.

Trump is 74 and was discharged from hospital on Monday, while Democratic rival Joe Biden is 77, heightening the possibility that Pence or Harris may have to step in as president.

The debate is an opportunity for both to demonstrate to voters that they would be ready to assume the presidency if needed.

Debate organisers were considering dividing Pence and Harris with plexiglass at the venue as a safety measure to prevent any potential coronavirus spread.

Both have tested negative for the virus in recent days.

Trump and Biden squared off in a heated, chaotic debate last week.

Their second debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, was called into question in the light of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, though the president has signalled he plans to participate.

Trump’s illness comes at a crucial point in his re-election campaign, with him trailing Biden in the polls.

Halima Sheji

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