According to a report from the New York Times, the announcement from Donald Trump that he has tested positive for the coronavirus may be the death knell for his re-election bid with one White House insider calling the news a political "disaster."
As the presidential campaign enters the last few weeks, the inability for the president to get out and campaign due to being quarantined -- to say nothing should the 74-year old Trump become deathly ill from the virus -- has White House and campaign officials reeling at the prospect the election is already over.
"It’s almost certain that the remaining two debates between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden will be canceled or drastically changed. The next one is scheduled for less than two weeks from now, on Oct. 15, and medical guidance would most likely keep the president isolated until then," the report states. "And after having gone forward with the rallies he craves, despite rules against large gatherings in many states, Mr. Trump will not be able to leave Washington during a final, crucial stretch of the campaign."
According to Republican campaign consultant Rob Stutzman, “It’s hard to imagine this doesn’t end his hopes of re-election."
One of the major concerns among those close to the president is the fact that he came down with the infection at the same time he has been saying the coronavirus pandemic was waning and that the country needs to return to normal.
"In the White House, advisers to the president acknowledged that the positive test would remind voters of how dismissive Mr. Trump had been about the virus, not only with his own neglect of safety but also in his overly rosy assessments about a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 people in the United States," the report adds. "Mr. Trump’s recklessness, one adviser admitted, amounted to a political 'disaster.'"
According to Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, the announcement is likely a critical blow to the president's re-election hopes.
“Trump is now in the position of becoming exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus, and he runs the risk that his supporters will feel misled by his dismissiveness of the virus and the need for precautions,” he explained.
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