First presidential debate moved from Notre Dame to Cleveland

First presidential debate will reportedly be moved to Cleveland

President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden will move east to face off in their first debate.

On Monday, the University of Notre Dame, citing concerns about holding a presidential debate during the coronavirus pandemic, announced it will not be hosting the Sept. 29 event, The Washington Post reported. Instead, the debate between Trump and Biden will be held in Cleveland,

The event will be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic at the Health Education Campus, WJW reported.

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“We are honored to host this presidential debate at our shared Health Education Campus,” Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, and Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder said in a joint statement on Monday. “This pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of health care and scientific discovery in unprecedented ways. To have the presidential candidates discuss these issues in our innovative learning space represents a tremendous opportunity for both institutions – and our entire region.”

Notre Dame, citing health concerns, becomes the second university to bow out of hosting a debate. The University of Michigan previously announced that it was pulling out as the host of the Oct. 15 presidential debate, the South Bend Tribune reported. That debate was moved to the University of Miami.

“The constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event -- as understandable and necessary as they are -- have led us to withdraw,” Notre Dame president, the Rev. John Jenkins, said in a release Monday.

Jenkins said he made the decision to cancel after consulting with Mark Fox, St. Joseph County’s deputy health officer, and members of the university’s board of trustees supported the move, the Tribune reported.

“The inevitable reduction in student attendance in the debate hall, volunteer opportunities and ancillary educational events undermined the primary benefit of hosting -- to provide our students with a meaningful opportunity to engage in the American political process,” Jenkins wrote in his statement.

Ohio has about 10 coronavirus infections per 100,000 people, according to the Post. The state’s infection level is trending down, the newspaper reported. Indiana. meanwhile, is reporting 12 infections per 100,000 and is experiencing a slight rise in infection rates, according to the Post.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has scheduled three Trump-Biden encounters, with the third meeting scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. A debate between the vice presidential candidates has been set for Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah.