The South Carolina Democrat looking to replace Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham took what appeared to be a unique approach to stressing the coronavirus issue during their debate Saturday.
He wrapped himself in plexiglass.
Candidate Jaime Harrison shielded himself on the debate stage by using a transparent partition as the two candidates met onstage at Allen University in Columbia -- before the state’s voters head to the polls in November.
Graham and Harrison spoke from 13 feet apart after both candidates tested negative for the virus Friday, according to The Associated Press.
But Harrison said he used the partition anyway, telling reporters he wanted to take every precaution to keep himself and his loved ones safe.
“It’s not just about me, it’s about the people in my life that I have to take care of as well – my two boys, my wife, my grandma,” Harrison, 44, said, according to the AP.
Harrison’s campaign claimed the Democrat’s use of the partition was in accordance with federal government recommendations that anyone in close contact with people infected by the virus should quarantine for 14 days.
Graham, 65, had spent time recently with fellow Senate Republicans, including some of those who confirmed last week they’d tested positive for the virus, the AP reported.
Asked after the debate about President Trump and other Republicans recently contracting the virus, Graham said he preferred to focus on how to keep the U.S. government and the economy functioning despite the deadly pandemic.
“The virus is a problem that came out of China, not Trump Tower,” Graham said, according to the AP.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed Graham and Harrison tied, each with support from 48 percent of voters, Politico reported.
Graham and Harrison are scheduled to debate again this coming Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.