The President of the United States, Donald Trump, was hospitalized at the end of the day Friday on a preventive basis to help him in his fight against COVID-19.
The news of the positive coronavirus diagnosis of Donald Trump, who has played down the scale of the pandemic from the start, and his wife, Melania, bombed the planet on Friday morning.
The country’s presidential race, which was already special because of the pandemic, had just taken a turn that leaves its share of unpredictable situations.
What will happen to the election campaign and the two other debates scheduled for November 3? What impact will this diagnosis have on the race? Hard to say.
Trump may have caught COVID-19 from Hope Hicks, one of his advisers who was helping him prepare for last Tuesday’s debate.
For his part, Democrat Joe Biden, who crossed swords with Trump during the debate, received a negative result for the virus.
One month before the election, the president left the White House without a word, wearing a mask, to helicopter ride to Walter Reed’s hospital in suburban Washington.
“I think I’m doing great, but we’re going to make sure things go right,” he said in a video message posted on Twitter.
A few days
According to his spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, this hospitalization should last “a few days”. On Friday afternoon, the campaign team said that “all previously announced campaign events involving the president’s participation are currently being turned into virtual events or being pushed back.”
It is not known whether the next debate between Trump and Biden, scheduled for October 15, will be sustained.
“The campaign is like frozen for the next two weeks and Trump needed this time to try to get back in the polls,” said Rafael Jacob, associate researcher at the Raoul-Dandurand chair.
However, the impact on the vote will be small, he said.
“Since January, there has been theimpeachment [procédure pour la destitution de Trump], the health crisis, one of the worst economic crises, as well as the worst racial crisis in 50 years, and public opinion has remained virtually unchanged, “says Jacob.
74-year-old and overweight Donald Trump has two significant risk factors that could complicate his fight.
Doctors injected him with a dose of the experimental synthetic antibody cocktail developed by the company Regeneron, which gave encouraging, although very preliminary, results.
If he became too ill or died, his vice president, Mike Pence, would take over, as constitutionally provided for. Even then, the election would not be postponed, says Jacob.
“Unless he dies on election day, the Republican Party would announce a new candidate. Everything suggests that it would be Pence and that he would be found a running mate, ”he said.
– With AFP