Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris debated Wednesday night in Salt Lake City amid an ongoing pandemic that has resulted in over 210,000 deaths in the U.S. and with questions about the direction of the economy.

Moderator Susan Price began the debate by touching on civil discourse after a raucous debate on Sept. 29 between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Page started by asking Harris about how a Biden administration would differ from the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic.

"They still don't have a plan," Harris said of the Trump administration's pandemic strategy. She called the Trump administration's COVID-19 response the "greatest failure of any American presidency."

"Our plan is about what we need around a national strategy for contact tracing, for testing, for administration of the vaccine and making sure that it will be free for all. That is the plan for Joe Biden has, and that I have," Harris said.

Harris also attacked the Trump administration for not being truthful about the virus. "You respect the American people when you tell them the truth," she said.

Pence defended how the Trump administration suspended travel to China, saying it "saved hundreds of thousands of American lives because with that time we were able to reinvent testing -- more than 115 million tests have been done to date." 

Pence also accused Harris of undermining public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine. Harris has expressed skepticism that the Trump administration is rushing to release a vaccine before the election for political gain.

"Stop playing politics with people's lives," Pence said to Harris.

The two candidates sparred over Trump's personal character. Harris referenced a New York Times report that Trump paid little in income tax in 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile, Pence defended the president as a "job creator."

CNN noted that Harris spoke for 36:34 minutes, while Pence spoke for 36:27 minutes.

Political commentators on CNN had a mixed response to the debate.

Former Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod called Pence a "serial evader" and said the debate doesn't fundamentally alter the dynamic of the race. Axelrod claimed Pence was "playing defense much of the night." 

CNN host Jake Tapper criticized Harris for dodging a question about packing the Supreme Court. “That’s significant, and Biden and Harris should answer it,” Tapper said.

However, Tapper also noted that "[Harris] was very effective, I thought, at the beginning of the debate when she just addressing the facts of the coronavirus response."

"Vice-President Mike Pence easily won this debate tonight. It’s not even a question. He won on substance, on tone, and was generously polite throughout. Well done," Dana Loesch, former writer and editor for conservative outlet Breitbart News, posted on Twitter.

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway posted on Twitter that, "The way you know everyone agrees that Pence won is that we're now on the talking point of vice presidential debates not mattering. Even though Pence's stellar performance in 2016 clearly mattered a great deal for traditional GOP voters going for Trump that year, too."

Results from a CNN instant poll showed that 59% said Harris won, while 38% said Pence won.

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart posted on Twitter: "Debates are scored on points, they are decided on moments. By tomorrow i won't be able to tell you what happened tonight. We'll all remember 2 moments from tonight. Harris on the single worse failure in US history and on pre-existing conditions, they're coming for you. She wins."