During the vice presidential debate on Wednesday night, both Mike Pence and Kamala Harris were asked about being second-in-command to an old man who could develop disabilities or die in office. Both completely dodged the question.
"One of you will make history on Jan. 20," said moderator Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief of USA Today. "You will be the vice president to the oldest president the United States has ever had."
President Donald Trump is 74 years old and is currently infected with COVID-19. Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden turns 78 next month.
"That has already raised concerns among some voters, concerns that have been sharpened by President Trump's hospitalization in recent days," Page continued, a reference to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis that resulted in him spending three days in Walter Reed Medical Center receiving experimental treatments.
"Have you," Page asked Pence, "had a conversation or reached an agreement with President Trump about safeguards or procedures when it comes to presidential disability? If not, do you think you should?"
In response, Pence continued to respond to a previous question about a possible COVID-19 vaccine.
"I think we need to move on," Page said.
"I would like to go back," said Pence, who then spoke for the allocated two minutes about swine flu and vaccines.
When Harris was asked the same question about "safeguards or procedures when it comes to presidential disability" if she becomes vice president to Biden, she also ignored the question.
Instead, Harris used her allocated time to speak about her own background and shared values with Biden.
The moderator tried to steer her back to the question about the age and health concerns involved in having an elderly person as president. She also noted that neither Biden nor Trump has released extensive health information, which had been standard prior to the 2016 election.
Page also said that Trump had given misleading information about his health and asked the candidates whether citizens had a right to know more about their president's health.
Pence used his allocated time to thank people for their prayers after Trump and the first lady's coronavirus diagnosis and did not answer the question. Harris immediately pivoted to transparency about tax returns and talked about how Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2017.
Pence and Harris may have avoided the questions, but whoever wins the election next month will become the oldest president in US history. The current title is held by Ronald Reagan, who left the office aged 77.