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Ohio U.S. Senator J.D. Vance Picked To Be Trump's Running Mate

Some Without Masks At Debate, Husted Says Cleveland Clinic 'Did Everything They Could'

Presidential Debate at Cleveland Clinic, September 29, 2020
Presidential Debate at Cleveland Clinic, September 29, 2020

President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test has stirred questions about what health orders were followed at Cleveland Clinic during the presidential debate on Tuesday.

While it's unknown whether Trump or his staff were infected at the time of the debate, there are pictures that show people in the debate hall were not wearing masks.

People attending the debate were required to get tested and screened before entering. But the pictures show that some attendees from the Trump campaign were not wearing a mask, which is mandated in the state. 

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) says he witnessed the clinic staff doing everything they could to "get people to do the right thing."  

"But as we learned in life, in trying to get them to do those things and follow the rules, not everybody does it, but I can tell you that everybody that I observed did," says Husted. 

A spokesperson with the Cleveland Clinic says individuals entering the debate hall were masked and in some cases people removed their masks once they were seated. A doctor offered audience members masks and some "did not adhere to the requirement."

A statement from the Cleveland Clinic said, "As health advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site, we had requirements to maintain a safe environment that align with CDC guidelines- including social distancing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks and masking. Most importantly, everyone permitted inside the debate hall tested negative for COVID-19 prior to entry. Individuals traveling with both candidates, including the candidates themselves, had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns.

Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests. Out of an abundance of caution we are reaching out to our guests to address any questions and concerns. We will continue to monitor the information being released by the White House.”

No word if the Cleveland Clinic faces any penalties. Many bars and restaurants have faced fines and citations for not following health orders.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.