President of the Indiana University, synonymous with the name The Fighting Irish, has backed out of hosting President Donald Trump and Joe Biden in their first presidential debate, set for September.
The University of Notre Dame President Reverend John I. Jenkins has announced that the Indiana school will not play host to the first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and the Democrat candidate Joe Biden. The September 29 debate will now be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
A statement released on Notre Dame's website read:
“The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) today stated that the University of Notre Dame has withdrawn from hosting the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020. CPD is pleased to announce that the first presidential debate will be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic and held at the Health Education Campus (HEC) in Cleveland, OH."
Their release stated that this decision was arrived at after consultation with St. Joseph’s County deputy health officials, as well as unanimous support received by the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees.
Jenkins said this was a “difficult decision because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.”
He added “I am grateful to the many members of the University community who have devoted countless hours planning this event, and to the Commission on Presidential Debates leadership for their professionalism and understanding. But in the end, the constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event — as understandable and necessary as they are — have led us to withdraw."
Jenkins ended his release by encouraging people to vote on November 3.
The Notre Dame announcement came on the same day that Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb launched a face-covering mandate. Indiana has just crossed a threshold of more than 1,000 new cases in a single day, on July 23.
As of Tuesday, Aug 28, the United States continues to be the world's epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 150,445 deaths and 4.43 million cases.