The news came in at 9:00 PM on October 1, 2020. “President Donald Trump tweets he Melania test positive for Covid-19.” It was the most shocking news since Trump won the presidency in 2016. It’s a staggering blow to Trump’s reelection campaign.
With 32 days left to Election Day, 14 days of which will keep Trump in quarantine, that would leave him with only 18 days to campaign until November 3, that is if he gets his health back after the quarantine period. The question is: Should he continue to run or should he quit?
But the following day, Trump was rushed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in a helicopter to undergo tests. According to his spokesperson, Trump will stay in the hospital for just a “few days.”
The president has a low-grade fever, nasal congestion and a cough. He received a promising but untested experimental drug from Regeneron to treat Covid-19.
In a brief video message upon his arrival at the hospital, he tweeted saying that he is “doing very well” and suggested that he was visiting the hospital only as a precaution. However, there were reports that Trump was feeling very tired and very fatigued. According to his physician, Trump has been on supplemental oxygen on his first day at the hospital but has since been able to breathe. However, he’s not out of harm’s way yet.
According to a White House spokesman, he was not planning to transfer his authority to Vice President Mike Pence. “The president is in charge,” he said. And this puts the presidency in danger because if anything happens to Trump – say lose consciousness – and without transferring authority to Pence, it could put national security in peril.
Needless to say, it’s time like this that could give the Russians and Chinese – or Iran — something to worry about. The prospect of accidental or intentional war is very high, which raises the question: What is Trump worried about? Can’t he trust Pence from taking over the presidency temporarily? Or perhaps, he’s thinking that once Pence assumes presidential authority, what would prevent Pence from relinquishing the authority? Just thinking.
The presidential line of succession, laid out in a 1947 law, falls first to Pence. If he were to become too ill to carry out the duties of the president, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, would step in. Pelosi has been tested and is negative.
What about the nuclear football? Who’s in charge of pressing the nuclear button if the need arises?
The nuclear football (also known atomic football, the president’s emergency satchel or black box) is a briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the president to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room. It functions as a mobile hub in the strategic defense system of the U.S. It is held by an aide-de-camp. If the president is in the hospital, the nuclear football is kept in the room accessible at any time. If presidential authority is transferred to Pence, the nuclear football is passed on to Pence.
Indeed, national security is of prime importance whenever the president is incapacitated to respond immediately to a geopolitical situation or – worse – an enemy nuclear attack. A rogue Russian, Chinese or Iranian general could start an attack. Well, you could say, “That’s not going to happen. It happens only in the movies.” But you need to remember the Cold War might have been over but nuclear weapons still pose immediate danger to world peace. And as long as the Russians and Chinese have their own nuclear football ready to go at anytime, the world will never be at peace. Call me crazy but that’s how I feel about it.
Last Saturday, October 3, Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley announced that Trump might be discharged by Monday, October 5. However, it seems that a discharge five days after he contracted the disease the disease is highly unusual and unlikely. But I can see where Trump is coming from. By trying to downplay the severity of the disease, he would take the change of going back to the White House where he can project that he has recovered. But the disease has an incubation period of 10 to 14 days, which means that the virus is still actively circulating in his body. And the virus could cause pulmonary fibrosis (which makes breathing difficult and there is no cure), kidney failure (which necessitates undergoing dialysis treatment), and congestive heart failure (which could lead to heart attack). Actually, since he was rushed to the hospital he had two episodes of using supplemental oxygen. He may be already in the early stages of pulmonary fibrosis.
He was treated with dose of the experimental monoclonal antibody therapy cocktail made by the biotechnology company Regeneron. He was also treated with the drug dexamethasone after his oxygen level transiently dipped. It’s been noted that dexamethasone should only be given to patients who require supplemental oxygen. He was also given a five-day course of the anti-viral remdesivir, which is supposed to shorten the period of care to 11 days.
I am not a medical professional but this information is available by googling the Internet.
If Trump would eventually end up with these debilitating side effects, how can he continue to discharge the duties of president of the United States? For the sake of the country, it would be best for him to withdraw his candidacy. The American people deserve a healthy president who can execute his duties without the hindrance or interruption of life-threatening diseases or conditions.
Meanwhile, the campaign’s status is questionable at this time. He’ll be in isolation for 14 days until October 15. But that doesn’t mean that he can go back to work immediately. He’d still be recovering from the ill effects of Covid-19. And with just 18 days left to campaign until November 3, what are his options?
Of course, he can no longer downplay the pandemic as a “hoax” or “going away” when he himself is afflicted with the virus. Nobody would believe him. The virus is with us, killing thousands of Americans every day. And according to the vaccine manufacturers, the vaccine will not be ready for use until mid-2021 at the earliest. How many more Americans will be dead by then?
Obviously, Trump’s contracting the virus will affect his reelection campaign. Without any valid explanation on how he’s going to deal with the pandemic this late in the game, he’s going to lose the election.
The question is: Is he going to continue with his presidential run or would it be best to quit? But at any rate, the election is over unless a miracle happens.