Trump and Biden to face questions on Covid-19 and Supreme Court in first debate

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Ron Adar | Echoes Wire | Barcroft Media via Getty Images; Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be questioned on topics including the coronavirus pandemic and the Supreme Court when they face off next week in the first of three debates before the 2020 election. 

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday that the Sept. 29 debate in Cleveland, Ohio, will center around six topics, each of which will receive a 15-minute time slot. The moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, selected the categories, the commission said.

The first debate will be held at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic. It is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET and is expected to run about 90 minutes.

The topics are:

  • The Trump and Biden records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The economy
  • Race and violence in our cities
  • The integrity of the election

The debate commission said it revealed the topics in advance “in order to encourage deep discussion of the leading issues facing the country.”

But its announcement notes that the issues to be discussed are “subject to possible changes because of news developments.”

The Supreme Court, for instance, morphed from a perennial election issue into a central focus of the 2020 race following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, on Friday evening.

Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are in a hurry to confirm Ginsburg’s successor before Election Day, which is just six weeks away. Trump said he will announce his nominee Saturday.

Biden, meanwhile, has called on Washington to honor Ginsburg’s dying wish, reportedly dictated to her granddaughter, “that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

“To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power. And I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it,” Biden said Sunday.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Americans’ lives, as well as the election race.

More than 200,000 people in the U.S. — more than in any other country — have now died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

While Biden and Democrats have slammed the Trump administration for failing to effectively respond to the public health crisis, the president maintains his efforts have been a success.

“We’re doing extremely well, relatively speaking,” Trump said in an interview on Tuesday.

“The only thing we’ve done a bad job in is public relations,” he added, because “we haven’t been able to convince people” of “what a great job we’ve done.”

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