Mike Pence Bitching About Plexiglass Debate Barriers, Because He Can Still See Kamala Harris That Way
While Vice President Mike Pence has — so far! — tested negative for the coronavirus, tomorrow night's vice presidential debate between Pence and Kamala Harris will feature some additional measures intended to reduce the risk that either candidate will infect the other, according to Politico. The Commission on Presidential Debates said the distance between the candidates will be increased from seven feet to about 13 feet, and plexiglass barriers will be erected on the stage between Pence and Harris, and between the two candidates and moderator Susan Page.
While Pence was at the Amy Bony Carrot superspreader picnic that seems to have infected half the GOP, he has not been quarantining.
Politico says the extra distance and barriers "have the support of the Cleveland Clinic, which is helping to set health protocols for the forums amid the pandemic." That's even though the debate will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is not Cleveland at all.
But the two campaigns didn't see eye to eye — not even over a distance — on the clear barriers. The Biden-Harris campaign was for 'em, but Team Trump-Pence opposed it. Pence spokesperson Katie Miller said "If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it," so you can probably expect some stupid posturing from Pence about how Harris is unfit to lead because she isn't willing to get infected like a real leader would.
On Twitter, Harris's press secretary, Sabrina Singh, replied that was a weird thing for a spokesperson for the head of the COVID-19 task force to say.
Miller, you may recall, was infected back in May, and she lived, proving that the virus actually doesn't harm anyone except the roughly 210,000 Americans who have died from it.
The Pence team is now objecting even more vociferously, because they are assholes.
In addition, Reuters notes, all of the limited number of guests at the debate will be tested for the virus, and this time they'll be required to wear face masks. Any audience members refusing to wear masks, the commission said, would be "escorted out," and the commission was definitely looking at the Trump Superspreader Family Bus over the tops of the commission's glasses while saying that.
So here's hoping the best for all involved, and that there's good ventilation in the building, because we don't yet know how effectively the virus is spread by aerosols, which would not be affected by a plexiglass barrier. We would say more, but Rebecca already made us edit out a 30-minute video of Rachel Maddow going over the history of plexiglass.
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."