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President Trump tests positive for COVID-19 how does it affect his campaign?


President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 late Thursday and will quarantine.

The positive tests come with the 2020 US presidential election a little more than a month away. 

Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien announced Friday all future campaign events involving the Trump family's participation have been postponed.

Trump had a full schedule planned for Friday including a trip to central Florida to attend a rally but due to his diagnosis, his schedule was changed.

The only item that remained on his schedule was a phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors. Vice President Mike Pence filled in for the president on the call.

Professor of political science at Columbia College Terry Smith said it's hard to determine how the president’s diagnosis will affect his campaign moving forward. 

“Obviously he’s not going to be on the campaign trail for a while,” Smith said.

Smith said it is possible that the president could still campaign while in quarantine. 

“He’ll certainly continue to tweet,” Smith said. “It’s possible that even from his personal corridors in the White House he can make televised addresses and maybe even interviews with the media.”

Professor of political science at the University of Missouri Peverill Squire said that with election day approaching and people already out voting, President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test happened at very bad time.

He also said it changes the topic of conversation for the president's campaign.

"It puts it squarely on the pandemic," Squire said. "And that’s not a topic that generally works to the advantage of his campaign."

Squire said that it going to be hard for Trump to not be able to campaign in-person because he enjoys hosting rallies.

"He loves the in-person, large rallies," Squire said. "That’s where you see him with the most energy. He’s probably going to have a harder time reaching that level of energy even if he’s feeling reasonably well, having to do it by Zoom or whatever other mechanism they want to use, it doesn’t play to his strength.”

Smith said unless the president gets really sick he doesn’t think the president will be silent or invisible during his time in quarantine. 

Smith said the diagnosis may have an impact, at the very least, on the next debate scheduled for Oct. 15. 

“Which was going to be problematic in some ways anyhow simply because of what happened in the previous debate and how they were going to address the format,” Smith said. “He may be quarantined or simply unable to participate.”

The ultimate impact of the recent diagnosis will depend on the president’s health. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters that the president had mild symptoms. He said Trump continues to be in good spirits and energetic.

Riane Cleveland


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