The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will no longer host the first 2020 presidential debate in September, marking the second university host to cancel, numerous sources reported.
The university decided to withdraw from the Sept. 29 debate after consulting with local public health officials in South Bend, Indiana about hosting the event amid the pandemic. Notre Dame’s cancellation makes it the second school to do so, after the University of Michigan withdrew in June from hosting the second presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15, NBC reported, although the University did not specifically say the coronavirus threat was the reason for cancelling and suggested it was concerned about bringing a large gathering of campaign personnel, supporters and media to campus. (RELATED: University Of Michigan Withdraws From Hosting October Debate)
Notre Dame’s President Rev. John I. Jenkins said the decision was difficult and that the necessary health precautions, which would reduce the number of students in attendance among other opportunities, ultimately diminished the educational value of hosting a debate, Notre Dame News reported.
NEWS: The first presidential debate is moving from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, to being sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic and held at the Health Education Campus (HEC) in Cleveland, Ohio.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 27, 2020
“…the constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event — as understandable and necessary as they are — have led us to withdraw.”
We are honored to host the first presidential debate, along with Case Western Reserve, at our shared Health Education Campus. This is a tremendous opportunity for both institutions, and it highlights the critical importance of healthcare at this time. https://t.co/IJPNVURvSr
— Tom Mihaljevic (@TomMihaljevicMD) July 27, 2020
The second debate will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami instead of at the University of Michigan. The third debate is scheduled for Oct. 22 and is expected to be held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.