Pence, Harris face off as COVID-19 shadows VP debate

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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – OCTOBER 07: Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) (L) and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R) take the stage for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vice presidential candidates only meet once to debate before the general election on November 3. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, are facing off in a debate that highlights conflicting visions for a nation in crisis.

The candidates are separated by plexiglass barriers in an auditorium where any guest who refused to wear a face mask would be asked to leave, an extraordinary backdrop for the only vice presidential debate of 2020.

Ultimately, the prime-time meeting is a chance for voters to decide whether Pence and Harris are ready to assume the duties of the presidency. President Donald Trump, 74, is recovering from the coronavirus, and 77-year-old Joe Biden would be the oldest U.S. president ever.

For those reasons and more, the debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City was highly anticipated.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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