CHICAGO, IL (STL.News) The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has selected United Airlines as the official airline for the 2020 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates. United will fly 65 CPD staff and crew to each of the four debates being sponsored and produced by the Commission, starting with the first Presidential debate on Sept. 29 at the Samson Pavilion at Case Western Reserve University, on the main campus of Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is serving as Health Security Advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates, and earlier this year, United partnered with Cleveland Clinic to guide the airline’s health and safety protocols. In addition to the Commission production staff, United will be flying medical professionals from Cleveland Clinic who will be onsite for the debates.
“The CPD is deeply grateful to United Airlines for generously supporting the health and safety of the crew that will produce the debates. The United States’ presidential debates are each watched by a global audience of more than 100 million,” said Janet H. Brown, CPD’s Executive Director. “The CPD is responsible for four debates in three weeks —United’s contribution to the well-being of the production team helps ensure these important voter education events take place.”
United is also encouraging its employees to be active participants in the election process. Today, on National Voter Registration Day, the airline is kicking off an internal campaign to inform, educate and provide access to voter resources so that United team members know when and how to exercise their right to vote. United is also encouraging staff to take time off so that they may head to the polls early or on November 3, and airline employees are organizing several volunteer initiatives in Chicago and in their local communities to help get the word out about how to vote in the upcoming election.
“At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world – and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process,” said Brett Hart, President of United Airlines. “That’s why we have long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlus and we’re proud that the CPD has placed their trust in United to safely fly their people across the country to each of the four debate sites this year.”
While Cleveland Clinic is serving as Health Security Advisor to CPD for all four 2020 general election debates, United has also been working with Cleveland Clinic to guide the airline’s health and safety protocols. Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader among U.S. airlines in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn’t permit customers who refused to comply with the airline’s mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. And last week, the airline announced it will apply Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year.
“United took early action to curb the spread of COVID-19 in airports and onboard flights. By continuously updating protocols and implementing multiple layers of precautions, they have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to health and safety,” said James Merlino, M.D., Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic.
For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.