Harris, Pence will sit 12 feet apart at vice presidential debate at request of Biden campaign

Distance is double what U.S. authorities normally recommend.

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Kamala Harris, Oct. 2
Kamala Harris, Oct. 2
(Ethan Miller/Getty)
Updated: October 3, 2020 - 8:35pm

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris will sit 12 feet apart at their upcoming debate—double the amount recommended by American public health officials under normal circumstances—a development that comes after multiple White House officials including President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

Biden’s camp reportedly expressed concern over the debate's original spacing arrangements, arguing that medical guidelines dictate that individuals spending extended periods of time together be spaced even farther apart than the normal six-feet barrier. The debate will last 90 minutes.

The requests from Biden's camp were reportedly lodged before Trump revealed his positive COVID-19 test early Friday morning. Multiple other Republican politicians since then have revealed positive coronavirus infections.

The concept of “social distancing” became ubiquitous throughout much of the world over the past ten months as many health officials insisted that most individuals need to be spaced far apart from each other in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

Though much of American life this year has been re-organized to accommodate six feet of space between individuals in many social settings, the six-foot maxim is not a universal figure. The World Health Organization recommends just a little over three feet of distance; German authorities, on the other hand, have recommended a distance of just under five feet.

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