Closures, preparations as the city hosts the 1st presidential debate


CLEVELAND (WOIO) – At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, President Donald Trump and former Vice President candidate Joe Biden will face off in the first of three debates ahead of the November 3 election.

Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic host on-campus health education debate.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The roads will be closed: It will be difficult to make your way through part of the east side of town. Road closures began last week and will continue until Thursday. Click here for a full list of closures. Cleveland Police also implemented a downtown parking ban throughout the debate. The ban extends from Lakeside Avenue south to Carnegie Avenue, East 18th Street west to the Cuyahoga River.
  • City leaders prepare for protests: Mayor Frank Jackson said no group had been granted permission to demonstrate outside of the debate, but he is still preparing to welcome protesters. Governor Mike DeWine activated members of the Ohio National Guard to “ensure a safe and secure environment” for debate participants.
  • Business owners bemoan lost customers: Typically, a presidential debate would have drawn crowds of people. Due to the pandemic restrictions, business owners in the city say it has been a quiet week. The Cleveland Clinic said tickets for the debate were “extremely limited.”
  • Some places will be closed: The MLK branch of the Cleveland Public Library will be closed on Tuesday. Other businesses around the debate site have also decided not to open on Tuesday.
  • Leave your cans and containers of body fluids at home: Last week, city officials released a list of prohibited items in the debate area. This list includes glass bottles, drones, weapons, and, yes, bodily fluid containers. Read the full list here.
  • Planning for a major event during a pandemic posed some challenges: Peter Eyre, senior advisor to the Presidential Debates Commission, spoke to 19 News about the planning challenges this year faced with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The debate itself: This is the first of three presidential debates. The other two will take place on October 15 in Miami and October 22 in Nashville. There will also be a vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 7.

Chris Wallace of Fox News is moderating tonight’s debate. He chose the following topics:

  • The Trump and Biden records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The economy
  • Race and violence in our cities
  • The integrity of the election

You can watch the debate on CBS at 9 p.m.

Stay with 19 News for updates throughout the day.

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