US Vice President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger, California Senator Kamala Harris, are set to face off in the vice presidential debate on Wednesday evening (US time). During the debate, Harris, a staunch critic of President Donald Trump’s handling of Covid-19 crisis and Pence, administration’s coronavirus task force head, are expected to present starkly different visions for a country confronting multiple crises.
The debate, scheduled to be broadcast at 9 pm EDT (6:30 am IST on Thursday) and hosted at the University of Utah, is being considered as one of the most highly anticipated vice presidential debates in recent memory. It will be 90 minutes long and divided into nine 10-minute segments.
Viewers can catch all the action live as all major networks will be broadcasting the debate. It will also be streaming live on social media platforms including YouTube.
Here is what to expect from the vice presidential debate:
Two versions of country’s Covid-19 battle
The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to dominate the proceedings as Pence is expected to defend the country’s fight led by Donald Trump during the debate. While Harris is expected to highlight the government’s failure in endorsing face masks and how Trump constantly downplayed the pandemic.
The United States is still reeling under Covid-19, as many as 210,000 Americans have lost their lives to the deadly disease. The pandemic has also caused a massive economic crisis with millions of Americans filing for unemployment.
‘Too liberal’ Harris
A Joe Biden campaign official said Harris has prepared for Pence to attack her as too liberal, echoing Trump’s assertion that the moderate Biden will advance a “radical left-wing” agenda if elected, news agency Reuters reported.
Though this debate may not match the sheer chaos that took place in the presidential debate when Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden and the two traded insults. It is expected to be fiery as Pence, who once hosted a radio show as a congressman, will debate with Harris who is a former prosecutor and is known for sharp questioning during Senate hearings.
After Biden’ nomination, Harris became the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s vice presidential ticket. As she faces off with Pence, who is white, Harris is expected grill Pence over Trump’s comments at the last debate where he declined to denounce white supremacy groups. During the first debate, the moderator asked whether Trump would condemn white supremacy. Trump responded saying, he mostly sees violence “from the left-wing.”
Trump presidency has already been marred by criticism from various woman rights activists who accused the President of being sexist. Wednesday’s debate is featuring Harris and another woman as the moderator as against to the last debate, gender dynamics are expected to take a fair share of spotlight.
Trump who is known for his barrage of tweets, is expected to resume his habit as the debate will unfold in the evening.