Pence tests negative for COVID-19 ahead of debate

Negative test clears way for Pence's debate with Kamala Harris in Utah.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday, hours before he squares off with Senator Kamala Harris in the vice presidential debate, The Hill reported.

The Vice President and Second Lady Karen Pence both tested negative, a White House official confirmed. Both have gotten back negative tests each day since President Donald Trump shared overnight Thursday that he and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the virus.

Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, also tested negative prior to the debate, the campaign said.

The negative tests clear the way for Wednesday's debate in Utah, which has come under intense scrutiny as the White House grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak among high-level staffers.

In addition to the president and the first lady, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and four of her deputies have tested positive, as have senior advisers Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller.

Pence's proximity to the infected individuals has raised concerns about whether it is safe to go forward with Wednesday's debate in person. The vice president's office has insisted Pence is not at risk and on Tuesday issued a letter signed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vouching for his ability to safely participate.

At Wednesday evening’s debate, Harris and Pence will be separated by more than 12 feet of distance, with two plexiglass barriers between them.

The plexiglass proposal was reportedly supported by Harris' team but not Pence's.