The University of Notre Dame has withdrawn as the host site of the first 2020 presidential debate.
Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins said Monday the university made the "difficult decision" to drop the Sept. 29 event "because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus."
The Commission on Presidential Debates says the event will now be co-hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic at the university's Health Education Campus. Earlier this year, the commission chose the Cleveland Clinic to serve as its "Health Security Advisor" for all three presidential debates, as well as the one scheduled vice presidential debate.
Case Western and Cleveland Clinic said co-hosting the debate should be "more feasible" due to their partnership and Health Education Campus' "distance from the university's main campus." They also said "risk-mitigation procedures" would be in place, but that "the precise nature of those plans — including whether an audience is present — will depend on the status of the pandemic as the event draws closer."
Last month, the University of Michigan withdrew from hosting the second presidential debate over coronavirus-related concerns.