On October 2, Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he and the First Lady, Melania Trump, have contracted COVID-19. Since then, members of his administration, both former and present, have also announced similar diagnoses. Between his relative silence on social media and The New York Times reports that the president’s oxygen levels have dropped, forcing him to be put on steroids, it can be assumed that his presence at the next October 15 debate is ambiguous, but what does this mean for his run for presidency?
COVID-19 has caused over one million deaths worldwide, with the elderly and those with a preexisting condition being the ones who are particularly at risk. While Trump has no documented health conditions per se, other than being slightly overweight, the factor that is of primary concern is his age. Though his vigor at his campaign rallies may mask it, he is 74 years old.
The virus has been documented as affecting the respiratory system, which fits in with the symptoms Trump has displayed thus far. Even though few reports have leaked about his progress thus far, the need for steroids in his treatments is not a good sign. Best case scenario, he would have to quarantine himself for a total of two weeks since the day of diagnosis. That would place him at just around the day of the second debate meaning he would not attend in person.
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
It wouldn’t be a shock if Trump opted to debate via zoom, depending on his condition. Viewers may note a much less energetic performance. Though if Trump can not show up in any form, they will either have to have Mike Pence speak in his place or to postpone it altogether. It would not be in Trump’s MO to throw the election unless under the gravest circumstances. If so, Joe Biden may have no trouble securing the election. Given JFK’s winning of the 1960 election due to his opponent’s sickly demeanor on television, history may repeat itself a Biden could secure a win even if Trump performs. Only time will tell.