With President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis coming just over a month before the election, many are wondering how it will affect Trump’s presidential campaign. “The immediate impact of the president’s diagnosis on the campaign is that he’s likely going to be off the trail for 10 days, maybe two weeks, depending on how long he commits to quarantine,” CBS News White House Correspondent Paula Reid told Inside Edition.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany lashed out Friday over a New York Times article that raised the question “whether [the President] should remain on the ballot at all” and be replaced by Mike Pence if he gets sick.
“What a ridiculous assertion by The New York Times,” McEnany said. “That may be the hope and the wish of The New York Times, but President Trump is the president of the United States. He’s on the ballot. He’s hard at work.”
The second debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, is now up in the air.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said one option is to hold the debate remotely from two different locations.
“It should go forward,” McConnell said in a radio interview. “Hopefully the president feels up to it, and you know they can work this out remotely. We're doing an awful lot of things remotely these days because of the coronavirus. Hopefully they'll be able to do this as well."
It wouldn’t be the first time a debate was held in two different places. For the third debate of the 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy appeared from New York and Richard Nixon from Los Angeles.
One question remaining is whether or not voters will punish Trump at the polls for what many see as months of downplaying the pandemic.
“Now, the president testing positive for this virus begs the question, if this White House cannot protect the president, how is it ever supposed to protect the country? And this big question of whether this White House should have done more,” Reid said.