Erie Events weighs in on the impact of COVID-19 if a presidential candidate decides to stop in Erie

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With the election nearing in just five weeks, questions are arising if candidates will continue with in-person campaigns at venues across the country.

This comes as President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital as he battles COVID-19.

Closer to home, we spoke with officials at Erie Events about their plans if a candidate decides to stop in Erie.

As the pandemic continues to alter plans and events, some are still wondering if in-person campaigns will continue despite COVID-19 concerns.

Casey Wells of Erie Events told us that if it’s a public venue, it’s possible.

President Trump who prioritizes in-person campaigns during the pandemic, tested positive for COVID-19 just days after the first presidential debate.

Some people are questioning the rules and regulations if a candidate wants to hold a campaign.

“We can’t keep you out. It’s a public facility. It would be discrimination that one person can use the facility and the other can’t,” said Casey Wells, Executive Director of Erie Events.

While a venue is still up for grabs, a customer must agree to all federal and state laws and meet lease requirements within Erie Events.

Democrats pushing for virtual campaigning said that they believe safety is the number one priority as the election nears.

“We are taking COVID very seriously and we will continue to do so. Both of our venues and the folks that we engage with are engaging on their own terms,” said Jim Wertz, Erie Democratic Party Chairman.

Just weeks away from the election, Erie Events doesn’t believe that any major campaigns will take place closer to home in Erie.

“From a practical standpoint, I don’t think it’s very likely because the state mandate the state mandate is that you can’t have more than 25 people in an indoor event that would need to be the case here,” said Wells.

The local Republican Party believes that the show must go on for President Trump to claim victory in November.

“Whatever medium is available, virtual, his whole nature is to be out with people. I think it’ll be less virtual and more expecting,” said Verel Salmon, Erie Republican Chairman.

Salmon said that after a Pennsylvania GOP meeting the Republican Party is still giving the go ahead for in person campaigning.

The Vice President debate is slated for Wednesday and is still expected to take place.

The nominees however will be separated by twelve feet and with plexiglass in-between them. This is something that we’ve obviously have never seen before.

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