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First 2020 presidential debate to be held in Ohio Staff




Photos: Michael Vadon / Gage Skidmore

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The first presidential debate in September will be held in Ohio, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.

The news comes after the University of Notre Dame withdrew from hosting due to COVID-19 concerns.

The debate between President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, scheduled for Sept. 29, will be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic and held at the Health Education Campus in Cleveland.

“I am grateful to the many members of the University community who have devoted countless hours planning this event, and to the Commission on Presidential Debates leadership for their professionalism and understanding,” Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins said in a statement. “But in the end, the constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event — as understandable and necessary as they are — have led us to withdraw.”

Case Western and Cleveland Clinic have collaborated on the Health Education Campus, a joint project where students in medicine, dentistry, nursing and related fields come together to learn and practice team-base care in simulated settings, and later, at actual clinical sites.

This will be the second CPD-sponsored presidential debate hosted by Case Western. In 2004, the university was the site of the Vice Presidential debate.

“We are honored to host this presidential debate at our shared Health Education Campus,” said Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., and Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder in a joint statement. “This pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of health care and scientific discovery in unprecedented ways. To have the presidential candidates discuss these issues in our innovative learning space represents a tremendous opportunity for both institutions – and our entire region.”

Along with the September debate, two additional debates between Trump and Biden are scheduled for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22. The vice presidential candidates will debate on Oct. 7.

All debates will be 90 minutes in length, will run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. without commercial breaks, and will be broadcast by the White House pool networks.

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