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
I don’t usually write about subjects like this. There are so many others who cover elections. I prefer not to reinvent the wheel. But this latest development could have massive repercussions for the presidential election.
Trump is 74 years old. You don’t ‘begin your recovery process’ when you test positive. First, you have to develop symptoms, then have them treated. He isn’t even at that stage. Hope Hicks, who transmitted the illness to him is already suffering the onset of symptoms and they aren’t pretty. Only after you begin suffering do you begin recovery. He’s nowhere near there. As with everything he says, he’s full of crap.
Even with the best medical care money can buy he likely has a rough road ahead to recovery. There are only 32 days till the election. He will spend the next fourteen in quarantine, even if he recovers or develops no symptoms. This will not just complicate the closing days of his campaign, it could entirely unravel it. Some might argue that not having him on the campaign trail, where he routinely shoots himself in the foot, will be better for him. But Trump needs a Big Stage. If he doesn’t have one he becomes shriveled and irrelevant.
The CDC studies show that 8 in 10 COVID deaths happen to those 65 and older. The president also has other co-morbidities including high blood pressure and obesity. This will likely not be an easy for him.
Media reports note that neither Hope Hicks, who presumably transmitted the disease to the president and his wife, nor any of the White House advisors accompanying him on his trip to Minnesota wore masks or social distanced. Ignoring science and medicine has its costs. Further, Trump’s entire inner circle was with Hicks on the Minnesota trip when he contracted the illness. They too may come down with COVID.
This development proves how catastrophically wrong was Trump’s conviction to conduct a conventional presidential campaign featuring big indoor rallies without masks, social distancing or testing. Like any good Greek tragic hero, Trump displayed hubris, self-pride, and it was his undoing.
His illness throws the likelihood of further debates into doubt. In his case, that might be a good thing considering his disastrous conduct in the most recent one.
While we have had presidents catch cold at their Inauguration and die. We’ve never had one develop a severe, incapacitating illness just before an election. As usual, with Trump he always brings us into uncharted waters. Testing the limits and breaking them is his stock in trade.
He is already down by around 8 points in most national polls. This cannot help his campaign. In fact, it may be the end of it.