Cleveland Clinic says enforcement of debate safety was job of Commission on Presidential Debates

poster - 2020-10-01T095445.865.jpg
Posted at 10:01 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 22:01:19-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic says it was not responsible for enforcing COVID-19 safety requirements at last week's presidential debate in Cleveland. Implementation and enforcement, according to the Clinic, fell on the Commission on Presidential Debates.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Clinic said it was responsible for providing advice to the Commission on Presidential Debates on how to create a safe environment.

The full statement:

“Cleveland Clinic serves as the Health Security Advisor to The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Our responsibility is to provide advice to the CPD on how to create a safe and healthy environment for all individuals entering the debate halls.
"The guidelines we recommend are based on scientific data, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical advice. Prior to the first debate, we worked closely with the CPD to create health and safety requirements. These are the same requirements that we have recommended be implemented at each of the other host sites. They include testing, social distancing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks and masking. Any questions regarding the recommendations and requirements, including their implementation and enforcement, should be directed to the CPD.”

News 5 has reached out to the CPD for comment.

The statement from the Cleveland Clinic comes five days after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they tested positive for COVID-19. White House officials reportedly have yet to state when the president last received a negative test.

Trump family did not wear masks

During last week's debate in Cleveland, most of Trump’s family members were seen not wearing masks during the presidential debate, even though they were required indoors for audience members, per the protocols established by the Cleveland Clinic.

RELATED: President's family was not wearing masks during presidential debate in Cleveland

Although the first lady and the president’s children Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric and Tiffany walked into the debate venue wearing a mask, they sat down and watched the debate without them.

'Honor system' for COVID-19 testing

The moderator from Tuesday’s presidential debate, Chris Wallace, said there was an “honor system” for both campaigns when it came to completing COVID-19 tests ahead of the event.

RELATED: ’Honor system’ for COVID-19 testing of campaign staff before presidential debate, moderator says

Wallace said when the president came into the hall last week to look at the stage set-up, “Members of the commission (on presidential debates) were not especially happy with the fact that the presidential party was not wearing a mask” during the walk-through.

President hospitalized three days later

Trump was hospitalized on Friday evening, nearly 18 hours after announcing on Twitter that he and wife Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. He was released on Monday. It is unknown when he contracted the coronavirus, but many White House staffers have now reportedly been infected.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.

See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.

The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face maskfrom common household materials, without having to know how to sew.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.