What happens next now that Donald Trump has coronavirus? It depends on how he gets sick …

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Trump falls very ill and does not yet recover as elections approach

No sitting president is known to have faced a life-threatening condition since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981, let alone a health crisis so close to a vote, which means we would be in uncharted territory. .

There is a proven system in the US Federal Government when Presidents are incapacitated and Mike Pence, the US Vice President, will be ready to step in.

Under the 25th Amendment, a president medically unable to temporarily transfer power to the vice president, as George W. Bush has done twice during colonoscopies. Mr Pence is already leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force, so he will be fully in the fight to fight the pandemic.

He knows politics and key players, and has spent four years as governor of Indiana and therefore has experience in managing executive power. This will avoid the situation that arose in Britain when Boris Johnson was in intensive care and, according to critics, there was a lack of clarity on who was in charge and how they would be kept up to date with the planning of Covid -19.

Would Mr. Pence take a different approach to the pandemic? He has certainly been less savage in his rejection of the risk of coronavirus. Could there be other policy changes? How far would tensions with China intensify? Politically, the impacts would be incalculable.

There have already been vague and speculative discussions about Mr. Trump’s name on the ballot and the possibility of a change. If Mr. Trump is incapacitated – or worse – while the electorate is set to make their presidential election on November 3, will there be a time when his name could be replaced?

Mr. Pence, again, would almost certainly be the person of choice if this serious situation arose. But changing the ballots would be a bureaucratic nightmare.

In many states, people are already voting. In all likelihood, millions of postal ballots have already been sent out, given the increase in requests to vote this way. In this scenario, again, calls for an election postponement would increase. And they could have more credit.

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