The news that President Donald Trump tested positive on Covid-19 put the United States’ leadership in the dark and exacerbates the health crisis that devastated the country, The New York Times said today.
Even if Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, will lose much of the time he has left in the election campaign, and if it becomes complicated could raise doubts about his staying on the ballot as a candidate, 32 days before the November 3 elections, the newspaper adds.
The President revealed in the early hours of Friday morning that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, contracted the disease, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which has already killed more than 207,000 US citizens and caused more than 7,245,000 cases.
Trump will be quarantined at the White House for an unspecified period, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from proselytizing activities and presenting him with difficult immediate challenges, at a time when polls show him to be below his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in terms of national voting intentions.
The disclosure of the governor’s illness, which the Times calls dramatic, was made by the White House chief in a Twitter message shortly before 1:00 local time, following reports that Trump’s close adviser, Hope Hicks, had tested positive.
For months Trump played down the severity of the virus, and hours earlier Thursday night he told an audience that ‘the end of the pandemic is in sight.
On his own tweet, about 30 minutes later, Trump’s wife wrote that the first couple was ‘feeling fine,’ but the White House did not report whether they were experiencing symptoms.
Meanwhile, the President’s physician, Sean P. Conley, said he could perform his duties ‘without interruption’ from the Executive Mansion.
Trump and his assistants have violated preventive public health measures and held large campaign demonstrations in recent months, even when epidemiology experts repeatedly warned them of the potential for the spread of Covid-19 with such activities.