VP Debate Recap: Pence, Harris talk climate change, COVID-19

U.S. Elections

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence answer questions during the vice presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

NATIONAL (KRQE) – Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Senator Kamala Harris faced off in the only vice presidential debate before the November election. The debate took place at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night; it was moderated by Susan Page of USA Today. They debated a number of issues including the COVID-19 and the U.S economy, climate change, and the importance of transparency.

Here are some highlights:

Racial Politics

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Harris said people, of every race, age and gender, in the U.S. are joining together to fight for equal justice and that under a Democratic administration, will not condone violence.

However, Vice President Pence said he trusts the justice system and that there is no excuse for violent looting or rioting.

COVID-19 and U.S. Economy

Sen. Harris says one in 5 businesses closed amid the pandemic with over 30 million people filing for unemployment. Harris also said the Trump administration had the information and knowledge, early on, about the seriousness of the coronavirus in January and minimized the seriousness of the virus. She says Joe Biden and his administration will have a plan when it comes to a COVID-19 vaccine and have a national strategy for contact tracing.

Vice President Pence said since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pres. Trump has put the health of the American people first. Pence also said by suspending travel to and from China, the Trump administration had the time to research the coronavirus.

Climate Change

Sen. Harris said Joe Biden will not ban fracking and jobs will grow. She also said seven million more jobs will be created under the Biden administration than under the Trump administration. Harris said part of the jobs created will be about clean and renewable energy.

Vice President Pence said the Trump administration made a commitment to conservation and to the environment. He also said the Trump administration is going to continue to listen to the science. Pence said the progress being made for a cleaner environment is due to the strong, free-market economy.


Vice President Pence said the care Pres. Trump received at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was transparent. Pence said the same transparency will continue on during his recovery and throughout the Trump administration. However, Sen. Harris said Pres. Trump has not been transparent in terms of health and his taxes. She goes on to say that the American people have a right to know why Pres. Trump has millions he owes in debt.

Supreme Court

Vice President Pence said if the American people want separation of power, to reject the Biden administration. However, Sen. Harris said the Trump administration has not appointed people who are competent.

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