Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Not only does the announcement have seismic implications for the president’s messaging, it will also have an impact on the logistics of his schedule just weeks before the Nov. 3 election. Trump had already canceled a rally in Florida on Friday, and the revelation of his positive result raised questions about his ability to hold rallies, fundraisers and participate in presidential debates scheduled later this month.
What Does Trump’s Positive COVID Test Means Moving Forward?
Of course, having tested positive for the Coronavirus, President Trump will be forced to pause in-person rallies and campaigning just over a month before the 2020 election.
In the worst-case scenario, if President Trump becomes sick and is incapacitated by illness. Under the 25th Amendment, he has the option of temporarily transferring power to the vice president Mike Pence and can reclaim his authority whenever he deems himself fit for duty.
What if President Trump remains asymptomatic?
Even if President Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail for a few weeks and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time.
What if something horrific happened to President Trump before the election.
- Under Republican rules, the Republican National Committee (RNC) could reconvene the national convention. VP Mike Pence would be the obvious choice for Republicans, meaning the GOP would also have to pick a new vice presidential nominee.
What Will Happen To The Presidential Debates?
- Two other Presidential debates are scheduled for the candidates, with the next one scheduled for Oct. 15. Since the quarantine period lasts about two weeks then President Trump should most likely be cleared by then. But, the bigger question is will Joe Biden use the President’s positive test result to opt-out of the last two debates?
The full extent of the political fallout of President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 is unclear.
If Trump becomes seriously ill, it stands to underscore Democratic arguments about his coronavirus leadership. If the physical consequences are less severe, he might find an opportunity to downplay the seriousness of the disease.
The President’s illness could also serve to humanize him in some voter’s eyes.