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How will Trump’s diagnosis affect the vice presidential debate?

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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is seen through a fence in Bethesda, Md., Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. President Donald Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

Cliff Owen, Associated Press

Two of the biggest headline topics of the year — COVID-19 and the presidential election — collided last Thursday night when news broke of President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test.

With the vice presidential debate taking place in Salt Lake City Wednesday night, questions began to arise about whether or not Trump’s diagnosis will have an effect on the event.

Traditionally, the vice presidential debate has little impact on the bigger race. But certain factors about this year’s presidential candidates may change that and have individuals looking at the vice presidential candidates more closely than normal.

Addressing this interesting dynamic, Deseret News opinion editor, Boyd Matheson, appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Oct. 5, two days before the vice presidential debate, to discuss what might have Americans tuning in to watch Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris.


It’s difficult to know for sure whether Trump’s positive and subsequent trip to the hospital will heighten the stakes for Wednesday’s debate, but other factors like Biden and Trump’s age may also have voters taking the vice presidential candidates more seriously.

To hear Matheson’s full comments, click here.