Trump’s coronavirus infection might favor him in upcoming election: observers

By Zhao Yusha and Huang Lanlan Source: Published: 2020/10/2 15:18:43

US president’s sudden infection further proves this election year is the “most absurd in US history”

File Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump take part in the family photo session during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 11, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)

US President Donald Trump’s positive test result for ”the SARS-CoV-2 virus” will possibly favor him if he recovers before the election, as it makes him the sole focus of the US political circle as the election date looms only one month away. In addition, it will help him silence the voices of others, Chinese observers predicted, noting the infection may help Trump better control the “narrative.”
Chinese followers of the situation said the US president’s contraction of the deadly novel coronavirus, which comes hot on heels of what has been dubbed “the most chaotic” presidential debate in history, alongside the fact that the US now tops the world in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases, make sure that this election year truly is the “most absurd in US history.”
Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that he and his wife, Melania Trump, had both “tested positive for COVID-19,” soon after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive.
Trump would continue to carry out his regular duties “without disruption,” and both he and his wife were doing well currently, said the White House physician.
The announcement surprised many Chinese observers as the US presidential election is scheduled only one month away.
All election campaigning activities have been suspended until President Trump recovers, and he will use this opportunity to draw all the attention and spotlight he can during this time, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times Friday.
The next two presidential debates, which were scheduled for mid- and late-October, are likely to be canceled, said Diao.
Diao said that, in this way, voices from Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival, will be silenced, exerting a heavy blow on the Democratic Party. What’s more, the situation will favor Trump if he recovers before the election, as some swing voters will likely show sympathy toward him.
Ni Feng, director of the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also said that a quick recovery from the virus could serve as solid prove that septuagenarian Trump is still in good health and capable of leading the country for another four years.

But Diao predicted the election is unlikely to be postponed, even if one of the candidates is proven to have contacted the deadly virus, only if a law is issued that permits its rescheduling would that situation occur.

There have been no postponed US election dates in the country’s history, only state election dates have been changed based on certain circumstances, according to experts.
Ni predicted that the vice presidential debate, scheduled for October 7, remains as crucial as ever, as US Vice President Mike Pence confronts Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris with Trump’s situation in the background.
Some observers urged it is necessary for Biden and Pence to “also test for coronavirus,” as Biden engaged in a heated debate with Trump only a few days ago, and Pence had come into close contact with both Trump and Hick recently.
Experts said if Trump’s situation deteriorates, Pence will take over his job; and if Pence also tests positive for the virus, losing the ability to carry on working, the president’s work will be handed to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.
Most absurd scene in US history
Trump’s positive test result quickly renewed many Chinese netizen’s memories of Trump’s  “laissez-faire” attitude toward virus control and mask wearing, which have been proven by the WHO as effective methods to reduce the spread. He even mocked Biden for wearing a mask during the first presidential debate on September 30.
His constant claims that he “knows better than anyone” about the virus has also won him the nickname “Dongwang”  ̶ the King of I-know-it-all  ̶ in China. The topic of Trump and his wife’s positive test results had attracted more than 230 million views on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, within one hour.
Now that the US president himself has contracted the virus, alongside the fact that the US leads the world with confirmed coronavirus cases and the “most chaotic presidential debate” only a few days ago, this year’s presidential election has truly become the “most absurd in US election history,” said Ni.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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