Donald Trump Has COVID-19. What Happens Next?

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images.
Update: On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, according to NPR.
"President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. "Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady."
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This story was originally published on October 2, 2020, at 8:49 a.m.
After months of dismissing the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and almost always refusing to wear a mask or follow basic safety protocols, President Donald Trump reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning. First Lady Melania Trump tested positive as well.
The couple’s test results followed Thursday evening’s late-breaking news that Trump’s advisor and senior counselor, Hope Hicks, had tested positive and entered quarantine. Last night, Trump tweeted, “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
Only two hours later, the president followed up, confirming that he and First Lady Melania Trump had both tested positive and planned to get through this “TOGETHER!”
For months now, Trump has severely downplayed the novel coronavirus, with members of his cabinet (and family) calling it a “hoax.” In February, the president even said, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
Trump has also made false statements about potential “cures” for COVID-19 including the injection of disinfectants into human bodies, later saying he was being “sarcastic,” since sarcasm is a typical tone for a president to take during an official press briefing during a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Beyond the fact that any 74-year-old should have been taking every possible precaution to prevent exposure to the coronavirus, perhaps the most concerning element of Trump’s diagnosis is that he’s been traveling around the country for his campaign, often greeting many massive groups of maskless supporters, indoors, who have been galvanized by his own refusal to take proper precautions. When Trump was asked two weeks ago if he has any fear of getting COVID-19 from his rallies, he said: “I’m on a stage, it’s very far away, so I’m not at all concerned.”
There’s even more reason to be concerned, though, as news of his positive test result comes only three days after Trump debated 77-year-old Joe Biden for the first time. Though the two were standing somewhat far apart during the debate, both Biden and his wife, Jill, have reportedly just undergone their own testing.
It’s not clear what will happen to Trump’s campaign now that he has tested positive for COVID-19, though the president does plan to remain isolated in the White House and has canceled his plans to travel to Florida, Wisconsin, and Arizona. Although he is allegedly asymptomatic, we are only 32 days out from the November 3 election and two weeks before the next scheduled presidential debate. It certainly seems likely that the latter will be postponed, if not canceled. As to the former? It seems like we will have to wait and see.

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