UPDATE: 4:50 P.M. EST – Oct. 9, 2020: The South Carolina senate debate has been canceled. Both candidates will instead participate in separate 30-minute forums on a local station, the Hill reports.
“We’re disappointed that Lindsey has failed to take a simple coronavirus test, but we appreciate our hosts were able to change the event format to make it safer for everyone,” Harrison campaign spokesman Guy King said in a statement. “Jaime will be there in Spartanburg to talk to voters.”
Politician Jaime Harrison is currently in the running to become a senator for South Carolina—but he may opt out of tonight’s debate. His opposition, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), is refusing to take another COVID-19 test ahead of the scheduled face off.
Post and Courier reports that on October 8, Harrison, as well as the debate’s moderators, had agreed to take a COVID-19 test before the debate. When Sen. Graham was asked by Harrison to comply, he did not. “[I]f Sen. Graham will not take a coronavirus test, I cannot responsibly debate in person tomorrow night and allow politics to put my family, my campaign staff, Sen. Graham’s staff, and members of the media at unnecessary risk,” Harrison said in a press release.
Sen. Graham wrote his own response and posted it to Twitter.
“Jaime Harrison is too liberal for South Carolina,” he wrote. “I listen to the medical experts and follow their advice. I will continue to follow the guidance of my doctors, not my political opponent.” Harrison then publicly inquired about why Sen. Graham refused to be tested.
“Why won’t you take the test, Lindsey?,” he wrote on Twitter. Actor Mark Ruffalo also chimed in, asking, “Why won’t you take a Covid test [Senator Graham?] Why be so irresponsible that you would expose your opponent and the debate crew to a deadly disease? Not becoming of a US senator.”
Harrison brought his own plexiglass shield to his last debate against Graham.