President to quarantine days after taking part in TV debate and campaign rally in Minnesota
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- Fears Joe Biden may have been exposed at debate with Trump
- Analysis: A surprise that many saw coming
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A scramble is under way in Washington to determine how far coronavirus infection has spread in the top ranks of US leadership after Donald Trump tested positive, in a week that included a presidential debate, political rallies and White House meetings with Congress.
The White House said its medical unit had begun contact-tracing on Thursday. Among those who may have been exposed is the Democratic challenger for the presidency, Joe Biden, who stood a few feet away from Trump for the 90 minutes of Tuesday night’s televised debate. Epidemiologists said that if Trump tested positive on Thursday morning he could have been infectious at that time.
Jake Sherman from Politico has these thoughts on some of the ramifications of Donald Trump contracting coronavirus.
1) EVERY MOVE MADE, every word uttered and tweet published by the White House will be under a microscope as the world tries to understand the health of the most powerful man in the world. We will be looking this morning for test results and assurance from @vp and @SpeakerPelosi
2) THE WHITE HOUSE does not have the public’s trust, and at a time like this, that’s important.
Currently, levels of trust in the federal government, the White House, and Donald Trump to provide Americans with accurate coronavirus-related information are at an all-time low. Fewer than one-third of Americans place a great deal or a fair amount of trust in these institutions/actors.
3) THE PRESIDENT will be quarantined for some time, so the 2020 CAMPAIGN as we knew it will be effectively paused in its final stretch. How can they allow TRUMP in a room with the 77-year-old JOE BIDEN? How can TRUMP hold another in-person rally? It seems extremely unlikely.
THE ENTIRETY of the president’s political message was that he handled the coronavirus pandemic well, the end was in sight, and people should think back to before the onset of the virus when they consider their vote. TRUMP’S diagnosis will make that quite tricky.