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USA - Trump infected with coronavirus: "The greatest threat to a US president and government in decades"

Trump infected with coronavirus: "The greatest threat to a US president and government in decades"

Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. For the US president, this is dangerous in many ways: The 74-year-old belongs to the risk group. He also threatens that his infection will have a negative impact on his election campaign.

US President Donald Trump tested positive for the corona virus on Friday night. His wife Melania, the first lady, is also sick with Covid-19, which was confirmed by the White House's personal doctor. This news is more than inconvenient for the president: He is in the middle of the hot phase of the US election campaign.

Continuation of official business

From a health point of view, the diagnosis is worrying: Trump is 74 years old, overweight and has an unhealthy diet. He therefore belongs to the high-risk group several times, write the US media. A worse or more complicated course of the coronavirus disease is therefore possible.

This fact leads to the fact that Trump's illness represents the "greatest danger for an incumbent US president in decades". It is true that the personal physician of the White House, Sean Conley, quickly assured that the president could fulfill his duties without interruption ”. But as early as Friday night, US media discussed what could happen in the event of a difficult course for the president.

Because not only the president belongs to the risk group, but also his deputy, Vice-President Mike Pence, is no longer the youngest at 61. Both had contact on Monday at a joint press conference. The Minister of Health and the Minister of Education were also present at the meeting. Several high-ranking White House employees were also present and were in contact with Trump and Pence in the days that followed. Contagion among each other would be possible.

The "Chain of Command"

Health expert Jonathan Reiner recommends House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi to isolate immediately. As a spokesperson, she is number three in the “Chain of Command” - after Trump and Pence.

If US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence fell ill as a result of a corona infection, for whom it is not yet known whether he is infected, it would be possible that Pelosi would have to take over government responsibility on an interim basis. Only: Pelosi himself is 80 years old and also belongs to the high-risk group.

The exact course of this scenario is currently being discussed in the USA. The US Constitution clearly states that in the event of the death of the President and Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives assumes government responsibility. What is disputed is what happens if - in the worst-case scenario - both men have to be ventilated and thus temporarily unable to carry out official business.

This uncertainty then caused the stock exchanges to tumble: The European stock exchanges opened about one percent lower on Friday morning than the day before. Similar projections apply to Wall Street if the stock market opens later in the day.

The impact on the election campaign

Trump's corona infection can not only have an impact on his health, but also on the election campaign: On November 3, the USA will elect a new president. Trump and his opponent Joe Biden (77 years old) are in the middle of the hot phase of the election campaign. Political experts in the USA and Europe predict that Trump's chances of voting could now deteriorate, since the president can no longer participate in election campaign events for weeks.

On Friday and Saturday alone, Trump would have participated in four election campaign events: a meeting with supporters in Washington, an event in Sanford (Florida is particularly important as a so-called swing state), and two appearances in the politically highly competitive state of Wisconsin. It is therefore possible that Trump's mandatory isolation could cause his campaign to collapse in the coming weeks.

With the bookmakers, Donald Trump is expected to be re-elected on average with a probability of 31 percent. Before his positive corona test was announced, the average probability of Trump being re-elected was 39 percent to 45 percent. With political commentators, the tenor is already now: "Trump threatens a political debacle."

Trump and Biden had contact this week

With Trump's infection, the question now also arises of the danger posed to the democratic adversary Joe Biden. The two met on Tuesday evening in a TV debate both in front of the camera and backstage.

Although the two men kept their distance and refrained from shaking hands, a possible infection cannot be ruled out, but the probability is rather low. Nevertheless, it is central that Joe Biden and his entire close staff are now also going into quarantine for the time being and waiting for their test results, said health expert Sanjay Gupta on US television.