It wasn't exactly the dramatic, out-of-control debacle of the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Still, accusations did fly between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris when they faced off in the first 2020 vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 7.
So, who was the winner of the night?
Well, it might surprise you...
What set Twitter laughing was the potential third candidate who made a brief appearance — a fly that landed on Pence's head, and it soon became the trending topic on social media.
That fly stole the show. Incredible performance.— Chase Stokes (@hichasestokes) October 8, 2020
"Here's the thing, on January 28th, the vice president and the president were informed about the nature of this pandemic," Harris said. "They knew and they covered it up. The president said it was a hoax."
Pence hit back, claiming that Joe Biden and Harris were touting the same deal that the White House coronavirus task force was already doing.
"It looks a little bit like plagiarism, which is a little something Joe Biden knows a little bit about," Pence said.
He also called out Harris for fueling anti-vaxxers, calling it "unconscionable" and accused her of continuing to "undermine public confidence in a vaccine."
"If Dr. Fauci, if doctors tell us to take it I will be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I'm not taking it."
She pointed out the repercussions from this disease — 210,000 Americans are dead, 7 million are infected, one in five businesses are closed, and 30 million people are unemployed. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like "sacrificial" workers.
"This administration has forfeited their right to re-election based on this," the California senator said.
"I want to ask the American people, where were you when you were panicked about where to get you next roll of toilet paper? How calm were you when your kids were sent home from school and you didn't know when they would go back?" she asked.
Debate moderator Susan Page asked Pence how the administration can be an authority on COVID-19 after hosting a so-called 'superspreader' event to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. As a result, Trump was infected with COVID-19.
"The work of the President of the United States goes on," Pence answered. "If we may say that Rose Garden event. There's been a great deal of speculation about it."
The outdoor event at the White House lacked proper social distancing and most attendees refused to wear masks.
The president's own COVID-19 diagnosis was naturally a hot topic.
The Vice President said, "The American people have the right to know about the health and well-being of their president, and we'll continue to do that."
Harris, the first woman of color to ever appear on a major party's presidential ticket, pointed out that Trump continues to undermine his opponent by calling him out.
"There's a weird obsession President Trump has had with getting rid of whatever accomplishment was achieved by President Obama and Vice President Biden," she said.
"For example, they created within the White House an office that basically was responsible for monitoring pandemics. They got rid of it," Harris said.
Pence said under his breath, "not true."
The debate saw the candidates seated on a stage, where they were protected by plexiglass, after Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.
It certainly is one of the most interesting and intriguing race to the White House in history.