October's U.S. presidential debate moved to Florida


  • Photo courtesy Joe Biden/Facebook
  • Joe Biden, masked
The city of Miami will now host the second of three U.S. presidential debates in October. The original venue was to be the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, but UM President Mark Schlissel on Tuesday asked that the event move elsewhere, wisely taking into consideration health concerts amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission on Presidential Debates accepted UM's decision and announced the change of venue to Miami, as the state of Florida's reported coronavirus numbers continue to soar.

Since, for better or for worse, Florida is open for business big time, the 
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami will now host the townhall-style televised debate on the night of Oct. 15 between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a Republican, raised the possibility in a statement to Politico on Tuesday that the event could very well be held without an audience: "
Right now, we are not in Phase 3 so I can’t see it today being hosted with people in the audience. Impossible to predict where we will be on October 15."

Also of note is that Suarez on Monday announced a citywide mask mandate, and President Trump is no fan of masks.

This is the second presidential campaign event (and counting) moved to Florida because the original hosting city determined it was not feasible to host such a public gathering while the country is in the middle of a pandemic. The first, of course, will be most of the Republican National Convention's events  particularly Trump's rally-style nomination acceptance speech – taking place in Jacksonville in August.

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