Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden did not shake hands or wear masks as they entered their first White House debate Tuesday and adhered to social distancing protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.
The two contestants took the stage at the same time and smiled when Fox News host Chris Wallace said they would not shake hands.
“How are you?” Biden said and reached out his arms to Trump.
The 90-minute debate, with a personal audience limited and socially distant due to the pandemic, was held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
It was the first of three planned debates.
Organizers said there were around 80 people in the audience, including the candidates’ family members, their guests, campaign workers, hosts, health and safety officials, and journalists.
Trump’s guests included First Lady Melania Trump, sons Eric and Donald Jr., daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, and allies such as U.S. Representative Jim Jordan and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Biden’s wife, Jill, was in Biden’s department.
With more than a million Americans voting early and running out of time to change their minds or influence the small portion of undecided voters, the stakes were enormous when the two White House candidates took place five weeks before the elections November 3rd took the stage.
77-year-old Biden has a consistent lead over 74-year-old Trump in national opinion polls, despite polls in the battlefield states that will determine the election show tighter competition.
The debate, which began at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT on Wednesday), should be broken down into six segments: the Trump and Biden Records, the Supreme Court, the pandemic, the economy, electoral integrity, and “race and violence” in the US USA cities.
(Reporting by John Whitesides, Jarrett Renshaw, Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Jim Bourg
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)