There’s the need to find a location to host the next presidential debate, which will be between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Miami is considered to be high on the list of locations. However, the Miami mayor has been honest about the pandemic – and the area has become one of the latest hotspots in recent months.
This means that there’s a big decision to be had. If the debate is held in Miami, is it okay that the stands will be empty? Gathering in such large crowds would only cause a spread of the virus – and no one wants to risk that solely to listen to two politicians hash it out on a stage.
Mayor Francis Suarez has said that he would welcome hosting the presidential debate in Miami in October. However, he questions whether there will be an audience present because of the pandemic.
The Commission on Presidential Debates may find that they’re in quite the pickle. They need to have a debate to ensure people can learn as much as they can about Biden and Trump.
They’ve already announced that they’re looking to move the debate on October 15 to Miami. It was originally to be hosted at the University of Michigan. However, that was canceled because of concerns for safety.
So, the University of Michigan isn’t safe but Miami, one of the biggest hotspots in the country for COVID-19, is safe? That doesn’t seem to be adding up.
It’s almost as if the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to ensure there’s no one present for the debate, except for some camera crews to ensure the debate is televised.
Suarez, who already contracted the coronavirus in March and survived it, says he’s not too sure about having the large debate in his city – especially since it could mean so many people crowding into a venue.
The Miami-Dade County infections and hospitalizations have been on the rise since the state’s Phase 2 reopening took place on June 5. Phase 3 is a full re-opening, and that’s not happening just yet.
In a text message to Politico, Suarez has identified that it’s impossible to know where the city will be on October 15. The city may or may not be in phase 3 by then. If it were to be held today, it would be held with no people in the audience.
Suarez as noted that the presidential commission choosing Miami for such an important debate highlights the “importance of our city and state to determining the outcome of the presidency.”
The debate commission as the event currently slated for being held in downtown Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. This is the same venue that hosted the first Democratic debates for the 2020 primaries in 2019.
Biden has not fared well in most of the debate performances. However, on March 15, Biden fared a bit better. It is possible that it was because it was a one-on-one debate or because there was no crowd as a result of the onset of the pandemic.
Does this mean that Biden could take the presidency if the Miami debate has no audience? Unlikely, though that is what most Democrats are banking on.
Mark Schlissel, the president of the University of Michigan identified that they are working hard to have a safe and healthy fall for their students, faculty, and staff, which is why they find it “not feasible” to safely host the presidential debate.
Meanwhile, Suarez is using cautious optimism about having a debate in Miami. Meanwhile, it’s in stark contrast to Lenny Curry, Jacksonville’s mayor who recently persuaded the Republican National Committee to move their nominating convention to Jacksonville once Charlotte, North Carolina demonstrated unrest.
Suarez, a Republican, and Miami Beach’s mayor, Dan Gelber, a Democrat, see eye to eye on the idea of bringing the debate to Miami. It’s a great way for the community to shine so that critical issues are discussed there, but, as Gelber says, the debate “would need to fully comply with the health standards required at that moment.”