Next presidential debate between Trump and Biden to be virtual amid Covid fears – live updates

12.31pm BST

The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced that the second Trump-Biden debate will be held virtually. The commission says in a statement:

In order to protect the health and safety of all, the second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations.

12.24pm BST

Also unimpressed with Mike Pence last night is Philip Bump, who has written for the Washington Post this morning that “All honest politicians are the same. Each member of Trump’s ticket is dishonest in his own way.”

The first claim that Vice President Pence made in the vice-presidential debate on Wednesday night was not true. He claimed that President Trump had “suspended all travel from China” in order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. The travel restrictions were sufficiently porous that nearly 40,000 people traveled from China to this country after the restrictions went into place.

Pence’s second claim wasn’t much better, insisting that former vice president Joe Biden had called the restrictions “xenophobic.” Biden did call Trump xenophobic, but not obviously in relation to the restrictions that had been announced only minutes before and of which Biden was not aware.

New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job! @SteveFDA

The more egregious aspect of Pence’s response, of course, was Pence’s insistence that Harris not “play politics with people’s lives.” This is the vice president serving Donald Trump, saying that a politician should not play politics with the pandemic.

That’s the Donald Trump who has encouraged states to reject economic closures, risking broader spread of the virus, in hopes that the economy would rebound before Election Day. The Donald Trump who refused to wear a mask or embrace social distancing and mocked Biden for embracing those measures, relishing the applause of his base when he did so. The Donald Trump who has talked about how the death toll in the United States should be blamed on deaths in states that didn’t vote for him in 2016.

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