In the early morning hours of Friday, October 2, President Trump tweeted that both he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, sending the stock market tumbling and sending the political scene into turmoil mere weeks before the 2020 elections.
NEW: The president has imperiled himself, thrown the country into uncertainty and invited a harsh judgment from the… https://t.co/OVzXJl94eL— Jonathan Martin (@Jonathan Martin)1601627743.0
Hours after Trump's announcement, reports have been circulating that White House insiders believe Trump's illness, whether serious or mild, could spell "disaster" for his re-election chances.
@nytimes Just remember that the WH Press Secretary didn’t tell anyone yesterday. The WH Administration told no one… https://t.co/quVfoI0gPv— Daily (@Daily)1601640313.0
With roughly a month until the election, many of the President's plans to campaign have been cancelled.
The New York Times reports:
"It's almost certain that the remaining two debates between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden will be canceled or drastically changed. The next one is scheduled for less than two weeks from now, on Oct. 15, and medical guidance would most likely keep the president isolated until then."
"And after having gone forward with the rallies he craves, despite rules against large gatherings in many states, Mr. Trump will not be able to leave Washington during a final, crucial stretch of the campaign."
Maybe they will send out Pence to the ralleys now? Or, perhaps finally, they are realizing...that wasnt a very smar… https://t.co/cc0YFJNuPH— Rett (@Rett)1601647284.0
Republican campaign consultant Rob Stutzman went on record saying:
"It's hard to imagine this doesn't end his hopes of re-election."
@cliffordlevy @jmartNYT @maggieNYT @ByMattStevens Yes. He, his family & his staff will need expert care from the me… https://t.co/93zw08BsP3— toottootferry (@toottootferry)1601652438.0
Politically, Trump falling ill could not come at a worse time for him. The President has been signaling to the media and his followers that the pandemic is "waning" and that the country needs to reopen as quickly as possible.
Trump was already trailing, in part because of his mishandling of covid. Now he’s tested positive for a virus he… https://t.co/DSMFymzDi5— Jonathan Martin (@Jonathan Martin)1601640939.0
"In the White House, advisers to the president acknowledged that the positive test would remind voters of how dismissive Mr. Trump had been about the virus, not only with his own neglect of safety but also in his overly rosy assessments about a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 people in the United States."
"Mr. Trump's recklessness, one adviser admitted, amounted to a political 'disaster.'"
@jmartNYT @gtconway3d @maggieNYT @ByMattStevens Should also do the timeline: Wed night: they knew Hicks was positiv… https://t.co/I9JXFquzP0— ian2 (@ian2)1601646599.0
@jmartNYT @maggieNYT @ByMattStevens Like a classical Greek tragedy.— Gregory Besharov (@Gregory Besharov)1601632136.0
Democratic pollster Geoff Garin believes the President's illness could have a dramatic effect on the race.
"Trump is now in the position of becoming exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus, and he runs the risk that his supporters will feel misled by his dismissiveness of the virus and the need for precautions."
@jmartNYT @neeratanden @maggieNYT @ByMattStevens Even his defiance on masks didn't keep the virus at Bay! Covid-19 doesn't recognize party!— Doxie Mom (@Doxie Mom)1601642399.0
He failed to protect the country. He couldn't even protect himself.— George Conway (@George Conway)1601617447.0
The President's health is always important during an election but at a time when his handling of the pandemic has made a significant impact on most Americans it could make more of a difference than ever.