NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The countdown is on for Belmont University to host the 2020 presidential debate, but as President Trump battles COVID-19 there is uncertainty about how or if the remaining debates will move forward as planned.
Preparations for the 2020 debate have been underway on Belmont’s campus for a while, the excitement building with flags hanging on campus and a countdown to the second online.
“We’ve been preparing for this for months on end,” junior Mary Catherine Ball told News 2.
The campus is set to be home for the third and final presidential debate in the election season.
“The entire lawn has been shut down for a couple of weeks now. There are people everywhere setting up tents and things,” freshman Ellie Lehman told News 2.
Preparations are now underway inside the Curb Event Center where Belmont also hosted the 2008 town hall presidential debate.
“We have to move out of The Curb since that’s where the event is going to be held. So all of our athletic offices and our training room, our weight room is having to move off campus,” Ball, who is on the volleyball team, explained.
The students don’t mind, excited to have both candidates in their backyard.
“Belmont is an amazing place, an amazing campus, and culture, and community so to have it be in the spotlight is always very nice,” said Ball.
The Centers for Disease and Control recommends that any individual exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus stay at home for 14 days, so the fate of the next debate on October 15th in Miami could be in jeopardy.
While Belmont’s plan on October 22nd is still uncertain, students are hopeful that America will still get to hear both of the remaining debates, with their health a top priority.
“We’ve been preparing for so long now and our president Dr. Bob Fisher has been so excited so it would definitely be a letdown, but understandable because keeping us safe is the most important thing,” said Lehman.
Could the next time President Trump and Joe Biden face-off be via zoom? Belmont students seem divided as to if a virtual debate would work.
“I think from the last debate we can see that I don’t know if virtually would be even possible to have good conversations. So I think it will really depend on the protocol and when he can get out of quarantine,” Ball explained.
Lehman on the other hand saying she thinks a virtual debate could work.
News 2 reached out to Belmont University officials as well as representatives of the Commission on Presidential Debates for comment, but have yet to hear back.