The Latest: 1st topic at the VP debate is the coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

The coronavirus pandemic was the first topic at the vice presidential debate.

In Salt Lake City on Wednesday, separated from Vice President Mike Pence by plexiglass barriers, California Sen. Kamala Harris called the Trump administration´s response to the growing pandemic “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

Speaking directly to the camera, as Democratic nominee Joe Biden did in his first debate with President Donald Trump, Harris said, “They knew what was happening, and they didn´t tell you.”

In response, Vice President Mike Pence commended Trump´s decision to shut off travel from China, saying the decision “bought us invaluable time” to coordinate the country´s response to the pandemic.

But Trump’s move only cut off some travel from China, and tens of thousands were still allowed to pour into the country.

More than 210,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. Trump is recovering at the White House from his own infection.

Vice President Mike Pence looks at Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as he answers a question during the vice presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence looks at Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as he answers a question during the vice presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence looks at Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as he answers a question during the vice presidential debate Wednesday, Oct.

7, 2020, at Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

 

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HERE´S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT´S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House.

Democrat Joe Biden is holding two virtual fundraisers. The candidates’ running mates, meanwhile, are meeting in a vice presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Read more:

– Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virus

– Viewer´s Guide: Virus response on stage with Pence, Harris

– Trump, out of sight, tweets up storm, says he `feels great´

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HERE´S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

9 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris are facing off in their only vice presidential debate.

The candidates are separated by plexiglass barriers in an auditorium where any guest who refuses to wear a face mask will be removed.

Wednesday´s prime-time meeting is a chance for voters to decide whether Pence or Harris is ready to assume the duties of the presidency.

It´s hardly a theoretical question: President Donald Trump is 74 and recovering from the coronavirus, and Joe Biden is 77.

Harris is the first Black woman to stand on a vice presidential debate stage. The night offers her a prime opportunity to energize would-be voters who have shown only modest excitement about Biden.

Pence is looking to boost the Republican ticket, which is trailing in polls.

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7:10 p.m.

Republican Mike Pence will press the Trump campaign´s “law and order” message at the vice presidential debate against Democrat Kamala Harris.

Pence´s guests in the debate hall Wednesday night will include Ann Marie Dorn, the widow of retired St.

Louis police captain David Dorn, who was shot to death on June 2 after a violent night of protests.

President Donald Trump and his campaign have seized on the scattered violence that has broken out amid otherwise largely peaceful protests demanding racial justice.
Trump has wrongly claimed that such violence has been condoned by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and has warned it will continue if Biden wins in November.

Ann Marie Dorn also spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Pence will also be joined by the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker who was taken captive and killed by Islamic State militants.

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7 p.m.

Two Utah women will attend Wednesday´s vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City as guests of Democrat Kamala Harris.

Angela Romero is a state representative who also works in local government in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Division for Youth and Family programs.

The campaign says Romero is focused on supporting families and local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah Gatrell is a veteran and teacher who is running for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council. She is a Blackhawk pilot who served in the Utah National Guard and was deployed to the Middle East.

The campaign says the two women represent the hard-working Americans that a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration would fight for.

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5:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump´s campaign is dialing back on advertising in Midwestern states that secured his first term in office.

Data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG shows Trump´s campaign has canceled about $3.3 million in advertising planned for Iowa and Ohio this week.

But details provided from Democratic advertising trackers reveal the phenomenon is more widespread.

The data shows Trump is running $1.3 million in advertising this week in Michigan, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is spending $2.9 million. In Wisconsin, Trump is spending $229,000 compared to Biden´s $2.5 million. And in Minnesota, a longtime Democratic stronghold where Trump hoped to make inroads, Biden is outspending him $1 million to Trump´s $289,000 this week.

The ad decisions by Trump´s campaign are puzzling.

He amassed a massive campaign bank account after his election, but Biden has outraised him in recent months.

Many Republican donors have been alarmed by the campaign´s exorbitant spending on things unrelated to winning, including lavish payments to campaign consultants and surrogates.

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3:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has returned to the Oval Office for the first time since he was diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19.

Spokesperson Brian Morgenstern confirmed that the president returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday.

He has been convalescing in the White House residence since he returned from a three-night hospital stay on Monday evening.

Trump is likely still contagious with the virus.

A Marine was posted outside the West Wing, signifying the president was in the Oval Office.

White House officials say they have put additional safeguards in place to protect staff who may interact with the president, including requiring full personal protective equipment.

Morgenstern says Trump is being briefed on stimulus talks and a potentially devastating hurricane heading toward the Gulf Coast.

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2:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence will be joined in the debate hall by several special guests, including the parents of Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was killed by Islamic State militants.

Their presence Wednesday night is intended to highlight action taken by President Donald Trump, including the killing of the group´s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in contrast to the approach taken by the Obama administration, which Mueller´s parents have criticized.

Carl and Marsha Mueller were featured in Trump´s State of the Union address earlier this year and spoke at the Republican National convention. In their speech, they asserted that, had Trump “been president when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.”

The 26-year-old Mueller was taken captive in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

The debate comes the same day that two Islamic State militants – dubbed part of the “the Beatles” because of their British accents — were brought from Britain to the U.S.

to face charges in connection with the deaths of American hostages, including Kayla Mueller.

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10:45 a.m.

Kamala Harris has again tested negative for the coronavirus.

The campaign reported her results on Wednesday, less than 12 hours before she is scheduled to debate Vice President Mike Pence.

She took the test Tuesday.

Pence also tested negative on Tuesday, according to the White House.

Harris and Pence will appear on stage at the University of Utah for a 90-minute debate. Both candidates will have plexiglass around them as an additional precaution. That was requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, and Pence´s team objected.

Harris also tested negative for the virus on Monday.

The debate stage is prepared and cleaned for the vice presidential debate between Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (Justin Sullivan/Pool via AP)

The debate stage is prepared and cleaned for the vice presidential debate between Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (Justin Sullivan/Pool via AP)

The debate stage is prepared and cleaned for the vice presidential debate between Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence at the University of Utah Wednesday, Oct.

7, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (Justin Sullivan/Pool via AP)

 

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct.

6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

 

President Donald Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as returns to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. A federal appeals court says Trump's accountant must turn over his tax records to a New York state prosecutor. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Wednesday, Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as returns to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. A federal appeals court says Trump's accountant must turn over his tax records to a New York state prosecutor. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Wednesday, Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as returns to the White House Monday, Oct.

5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. A federal appeals court says Trump’s accountant must turn over his tax records to a New York state prosecutor. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Wednesday, Oct.
7. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

A Marine is posted outside the West Wing of the White House, signifying the President is in the Oval Office, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A Marine is posted outside the West Wing of the White House, signifying the President is in the Oval Office, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A Marine is posted outside the West Wing of the White House, signifying the President is in the Oval Office, Wednesday, Oct.

7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct.

6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

 

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Members of the production crew stand in on the stage near plexiglass barriers which will serve as a way to protect the spread of COVID-19 as preparations take place for the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah, Tuesday, Oct.

6, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

 

 

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