University of Michigan pulls out of Trump-Biden debate over coronavirus concerns

The University of Michigan has pulled out of hosting the second presidential debate due to coronavirus concerns and state restrictions. The event has been moved to Miami, Florida.

Last Updated:
June 23, 2020 - 2:45pm

The University of Michigan on Tuesday pulled out as the host of the second presidential debate in October, citing concerns over coronavirus precautions and safety.

The televised debate was scheduled for Oct. 15 inside the Crisler Center, the university’s 12,700-seat sports arena.

Battleground state Michigan has some of the most strict coronavirus health-safety orders in the country.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, issued an executive order requiring all residents to wear face coverings in public and issued state-wide restrictions on such businesses as restaurants and salons. 

Michigan has over 67,000 positive cases for COVID-19, but has seen numbers of cases slow in recent weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project data. 

University President Mark Schlissel voiced his concerns in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“Given the scale and complexity of the work we are undertaking to help assure a safe and healthy fall for our students, faculty and staff and limited visitors – and in consideration of the public health guidelines in our state as well as advice from our own experts – we feel it is not feasible for us to safely host the presidential debate as planned.”

The debate between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will now be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center of Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, according to the commission.

The first presidential debate will be Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame; the vice presidential debate is Oct. 7 at the University of Utah, and the third presidential debate will be located at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Florida, one of the first states to start opening up in the midst of the pandemic, has reported more than 97,000 positive cases of coronavirus. 

After reopening, Florida has seen an uptick in cases, according to the data. Some municipalities in the state have started mandating wearing masks in public. 


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