Wonder what would happen if President Trump tests positive - GulfToday

Wonder what would happen if President Trump tests positive

John T Bennett

@BennettJohnT

Veteran White House correspondent and analyst.

Veteran White House correspondent and analyst.

Biden-Trump

Joe Biden, Donald Trump.

Coronavirus has infected the West Wing. Will it eventually infect Donald Trump? We’ll see what happens, as he would say.

It has driven Anthony Fauci and Mike Pence into something the former calls modified self-quarantine and the latter a less scientific-sounding state called “keeping some distance” from folks.

Those folks include Trump, the President of the United States and – really by default, since all challengers have failed miserably when they’ve had a chance to take possession of the geopolitical crown – the leader of the free world.

Your correspondent has watched this reality TV show of a presidency up close since its first day, often from inside the West Wing. Its seasons run for roughly six months each. That means, around June 30th, we are due for yet another cliffhanger of a dramatic seasobean finale as, by my calculation, the seventh one wraps up.

After much thought, and after examining The Donald’s increasingly cavalier attitude about the coronavirus outbreak, there is only one Season 7 finale that makes sense to this Trumpologist. How better to set up a possible series finale next January, should former vice president Joe Biden defeat him on Election Day, than for the president to contract the virus?

As Trump himself would say: Imagine the ratings. Pence might be reporting for duty five days a week at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but White House aides have made clear he is not interacting in person with Trump. This decision was made by the VP after speaking with the White House medical team, and no doubt, the US Secret Service – neither is keen on putting POTUS at risk.

But it is no longer far-fetched, or even salacious, to wonder what would happen if Trump tests positive. Pence’s press secretary and a White House military valet both tested positive; both were in the West Wing in recent weeks, and the latter, Katie Miller, is married to close Trump aide and confidant Stephen Miller.

Trump, predictably, has brushed off the threat.

We know Trump would receive world-class medical care. One should expect nothing more for any US president. So he likely would set up shop in the White House residence, calling Cabinet members, top aides, GOP legislators, friends and other world leaders.

We might actually, paradoxically, hear from him more often if he contracted COVID-19. No one plays the role of victim-in-chief better than Donald John Trump. It has become his default reaction to negative media coverage and tough questions from reporters.

To imagine what a few weeks of living with a Covid-infected Trump would be like, just consider the last five days. There was his latest Fox & Friends call-in interview that spanned nearly an hour on Friday morning. There was his Sunday on Twitter, during which he fired off more than 100 tweets and retweets. There was his Monday afternoon press conference. And there were his Monday tweets.

Imagine a quarantined President Trump reviewing polling data showing him trailing Biden both nationally and in just about every crucial swing state. Americans rally around the flag in times of crisis – and their presidents. So what would stop an infected-but-recovering candidate-in-chief from taking that last step, hoping for what Fox News likely would dub a “Beijing bounce” by accusing China of not just “attacking” the United States, but “attacking” its president? After all, he frequently says Chinese officials would prefer a President Biden and retweeted a post from one of his campaign’s accounts on 29 April that accused the former VP of spending decades in Washington “standing up FOR China.”

The Season 7 finale is near. Could it be written any other way, including with a China cliffhanger of epic proportions?

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