With only 33 days until the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19 could affect his reelection chances. It is currently unknown what effects the diagnosis may have on the election. But several experts weighed in with their opinion.
“It appears it would have to grind to a halt here,” Boston University associate professor and presidential historian Thomas Whalen told NBC10 Boston. “The question of whether there will be any presidential debates? That’s also thrown for a loop here. I doubt given the circumstances that would be appropriate.”
Donald Trump cancelled his upcoming events.
Whalen said he needed an update on Trump’s condition before he could make a more accurate prediction. A former White House physician Ronny Jackson told Fox News Trump was currently “asymptomatic”. He believes Trump will make the scheduled Oct. 15 debate.
“Once he tests negative twice, you know, he should be safe to go back to, you know, to his normal routine, and that will be well before the next debate,” Jackson said.
Market analysts have cast doubts on future presidential debates between Trump and Joe Biden. They also believe the diagnosis could affect public health policy.
“Markets (being impersonal) will focus on whether this affects the election outcome or public health policy. The future presidential debates may not happen; these were not seen as especially significant. Those opposed to mask-wearing may revise their views, and the president’s experience may impact U.S. public health policy,” Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS global wealth management, told Market Watch.
Currently, the White House and first lady have canceled all public events for the two. This included a planned rally in Florida. A Republican consultant told The New York Times he believes the timing of the illness could damage Trump’s election campaign.
“It’s hard to imagine this doesn’t end his hopes of reelection,” the Republican consultant Rob Stuzman said.
Joe Biden reacted to Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
On the flip side, Whalen said Biden should be careful how he responds to Trump’s diagnosis. Biden’s reaction could also affect his election campaign.
“He basically just has to feel sympathetic to the president and his wife,” he said. “He really can’t say anything more than that or else it will seem like he’s insulting the president or taking advantage of the situation for his own political reasons.
Since the interview, Biden wished the president and first lady a “swift recovery” on Twitter. He wrote, “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”