The Impact of Trump’s Illness

Julia Butch Staff Writer

The 2020 election cycle has been beset by an almost unimaginable series of substantive events, most recently President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis as this year’s “October Surprise.”

Max Zahn of Yahoo wrote that the news, which came early on Friday, Oct. 2, “scrambles every assumption we have about the election, the economy — and pretty much everything else under the sun.”

Perry Bacon Jr., senior writer at FiveThirtyEight, wrote,“This is truly unprecedented…in American elections — the president getting a serious virus, weeks before the election. I can’t think of any leader abroad who has gotten a virus like this weeks before the election either.”

Trump has been widely criticized for his handling of the virus over the last seven months, with the left claiming he hasn’t taken COVID-19 seriously. He has faced new criticism for his decision to greet supporters from his SUV outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

While he did not exit the van, Dr. James Phillips tweeted, “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.” 

The trip also drew criticism from Secret Service agents and doctors who risked unnecessary exposure. 

Meanwhile, Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a series of ads criticizing Trump’s rhetoric on the pandemic. Reuters wrote that “Biden’s campaign is looking to keep its focus on the nation’s response to the pandemic in the final month before the presidential election.”

Recent polls show that Biden is leading in key swing states and also nationally. According to polls conducted by The Guardian, Trump’s numbers are slipping in Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Florida. According to Beto O’Rourke, Texas is now up for grabs and could determine the election entirely.