The University of Notre Dame on Monday withdrew as the host site for the first presidential debate, citing “necessary health precautions” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that would have “diminished the educational value” for hosting the event on campus.
The first debate between President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee, set for Sept. 29, will instead take place in Cleveland, Ohio, the Commission on Presidential Debates said.
Notre Dame President The Rev. John I Jenkins, in a letter to the university’s community, said “the inevitable reduction in student attendance in the debate hall, volunteer opportunities and ancillary educational events undermined the primary benefit of hosting — to provide our students with a meaningful opportunity to engage in the American political process.”
Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic will co-host the reorganized debate in Cleveland, which will take place at the university’s Health Education Campus. Case Western Reserve University was the site of the 2004 vice presidential debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democrat John Edwards.