The two candidates will now “take part in one-on-one interviews … where they will be asked a series of questions by the forum moderator and panelists,” announced a live blog for the forum hosted by local television broadcaster WSPA. CNN has approached both Nexstar Media Group and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the sponsors of the debate, for comments on this development.
The announcement comes after Harrison issued a statement Thursday that he would not debate in person if Graham – the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – attended an October 1 hearing with Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah who was positive Tested for the virus last week ̵
1; didn’t get a Covid test.
In the statement, Harrison said he, the moderators and panelists agreed to be tested and asked why Graham wouldn’t do this.
“If Sen. Graham does not take a coronavirus test, I will not be able to responsibly debate in person tomorrow night and allow politicians to expose my family, campaign workers, Sen. Graham’s employees and media representatives to unnecessary risk,” the statement said.
Graham declined that request, saying that he had previously tested negative and would follow the safety rules that had already been agreed.
“Whether or not Mr. Harrison takes part in tomorrow’s debate is his decision, not mine. I’ll be there,” Graham said in a statement.
Graham, a three-time Senator and staunch defense attorney for President Donald Trump, faces a close race with Harrison, who raised a sizable amount during his campaign. Graham is bringing charges to rush Judge Amy Coney Barrett to trial in the Supreme Court.
Trump announced that he had selected Barrett as his choice to replace Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September, at a rose garden ceremony late last month. Lee attended this event and is one of at least 10 people who attended the event who later tested positive for the virus.
That event, along with an outbreak of aides and journalists covering the President at the White House, has resulted in the Executive Mansion becoming one of the hotspots for Covid-19 in the country’s capital. Trump is still recovering from his infection and has returned this week to work in the west wing.
The president’s diagnosis has resulted in his second debate with former Vice President Joe Biden being canceled. The Presidential Debate Commission announced Friday night that the debate would not take place after the president said he would not participate in a virtual debate with Biden and the Democratic candidate made other plans.
This story has been updated.