Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and US vice president Mike Pence are due to come face-to-face for the first time on the debate stage in Salt Lake City tonight in what is being billed as the most anticipated clash between two running mates in recent memory.

The duo will take to the podiums at the University of Utah at a time when the coronavirus is raging through Donald Trump’s White House with just 27 days until the 3 November election, prompting major concerns about the president’s own well-being and casting further light on his handling of the pandemic, which has killed over 211,000 Americans from 7.5m cases.

As a precaution, the candidates will debate each other from behind a plexiglas screen in an attempt to avoid the further spread of the contagion – although both participants have so far tested negative consistently.