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Harris waves as she arrives at a voter mobilization drive-in event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After several days of negotiations over safety precautions and logistics, Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence will be separated by plexiglass at the VP debate on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the move confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis has Democrats spooked about being anywhere near him or those in his orbit in the remaining days until the election, so they're scrambling to make last-minute adjustments.

Driving the news: The Commission on Presidential Debates approved the plexiglass on Monday, Politico first reported. There will also be plexiglass between the two candidates and moderator Susan Page of USA Today.

  • Last week, during the first debate for the South Carolina U.S. Senate race, Democrat Jaime Harrison put a plexiglass barrier between himself and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
  • Pence spokesperson Katie Miller told Axios in a statement: "If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it."

The big picture: The Harris/Biden campaign has been pushing the Commission to implement stricter safety measures at the subsequent debates since Trump's announcement late last week.

  • They were also successful in increasing the distance between Harris and Pence on Wednesday from 7 to 13 feet. (Trump and Joe Biden stood 13 feet apart at their debate.)
  • Democrats argue installing plexiglass and increasing the distance are two small measures the Commission can take to ensure their safety.
  • The recent COVID-19 infections are being taken seriously by Democrats, but they're especially unhappy that the Commission failed to implement their mask mandate at last week's debate, allowing some GOP audience members to watch without wearing masks.

Go deeper: Inside Kamala Harris' new debate strategy

Go deeper

Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House approves resolution calling to remove Trump by 25th Amendment

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a vote of 223-205, the House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to remove President Trump from office by invoking the 25 Amendment.

Why it matters: The resolution — introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) — is highly symbolic, as it does not bind Pence to take action, but it looks to pressure the vice president.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

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