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
President Donald Trump said that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for COVID-19. Trump, at 74, is at high risk with the deadly virus both because of his age and weight. @jeffmason1 reports https://t.co/g62Nj9m2Qt pic.twitter.com/nTUjVuudI3— Reuters (@Reuters) October 2, 2020
After Trump learned of his potential exposure to COVID-19 on Thursday, he:— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 2, 2020
2. Continued to interact closely with campaign supporters and staff
3. Did not wear a mask pic.twitter.com/ovFljuGSSp
Before I closed down the site in August, I said that one of the biggest questions of the year would be how many people die from COVID-19 in the expected fall wave.
The death toll from COVID-19 crossed 100,000 on May 26, 150,000 on July 27 and 200,000 on September 16. This had all taken place during the spring and summer. What would happen when actual flu season arrived in the fall and temperatures became more congenial to the spread of the virus? October 1918 holds the record for the being the deadliest month in American history. While not being on the same level as the Spanish Flu, it was reasonable to assume that the death toll from COVID-19 could still climb in the fall and winter to at least half or three-fourths of the Spanish Flu death toll.
Seeing as how this is 2020, I should have wondered whether Trump or Biden would get the virus and die from it in the final stretch of the campaign. Now Trump has the virus and the 2020 campaign is all but over now. He won’t be able to hold rallies or participate in debates and will be sequestered in the White House. The narrative on television will be focused on the virus and Trump’s inept leadership on the issue. Nothing has done more to damage to him in the polls with elderly voters than COVID-19. It will be even worse for him if the riots ebb in the cooler weather and COVID’s rebound dominates the headlines.
Conspiracy theorists will spend the final month of the 2020 campaign arguing that “COVID-19 is a hoax” while Trump himself has the virus. It will be that and “it doesn’t count when old people with comorbidities” like Trump die from the virus. Those people are far more likely to vote than healthy young people and it does count in states like Florida which are older than the rest of the country.
The bottom line here is that Trump won’t be able to campaign or likely debate, COVID-19 will dominate the news cycle in October and the pandemic polls to Joe Biden’s advantage.