Cleveland Clinic and CWRU prepare for the first of the 2020 presidential debates

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 7:34 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two newly released polls by Quinnipiac and Baldwin-Wallace University show that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Trump are running neck and neck in Ohio.

It’s just another reason why Tuesday’s debate is so critical.

Dr. James Merlino is the chief transformational officer for the Cleveland Clinic; he says they are making over the Health Education Campus into a world-class debate facility for Tuesday evening’s presidential debate.

“Starting back in March and April we transformed it into a 1,000 bed hospital for COVID patients. Thank God we didn’t have to use it. Today, we’re transforming it into debate center," he said.

Although tens of thousands of people won’t be here as they were in 2016 for the Republican National Convention, Emily Lauer of Destination Cleveland says Cleveland will still get an economic boost.

What will be the same from 2016? The security.

Cleveland Police and the Ohio National Guard will be out protecting our streets and the staff here for the debate.

And several road closures will go into effect. The main east-west streets of Chester and Euclid will be blocked around the Clinic. But the closures won’t effect the Clinic’s day-to-day operations that much.

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