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Trump Was Infected With The Coronavirus: How Did It Affect The Election Race?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Every election has crazy twists, but the president of the United States catches Covid-19 in the middle of the campaign, 32 days before the elections, can really change the election scenario. Trump is 74 years old and is in the high risk category. He has to isolate himself during treatment to avoid future complications. A few days before the voting, which will happen on November 3, understand how this can influence the United States presidential race.

The news broke following reports that his closest adviser, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for Covid-19. The evening after was suspenseful with tweets from Melania Trump, that suggested the first couple were doing well. However, the situation became a turn of events, hours later, on the 2nd of October, also on social media, was realesed that the president and the first lady was infected with the Coronavirus.

Trump had to isolate while being treated to prevent further complications. The treatment, that consisted of an antibody cocktail with newly tested, was carried out at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump stayed for 3 days. For the other north americans, the same treatment as the president in the american health system would cost approximately $100,000. 

How did the electorate react to Trump’s contamination?

For the republican, the isolation cost a lot of campaign time that he can really need, considering how divided the country is. The rigorous Trump schedule that consistes in going state to state for different commissions has been canceled for a time. Even his family, that helped a lot with the campaign, had to sit out of the electoral race for a while until it was confirmed that they didn’t infected with Covid-19.

On the other hand, Biden, his opponent, continues to debate and fly across the country to try to get more voters. Even with the cancellation of the second presidential debate, the Democrat continued to talk about Trump’s mismanagement and the improvements he could make in his meeting with ABC News.

A commentary that has been put on blast by many is that in the last debate the republican belittled his adversary for always wearing a mask, hours before he announced that was infected by coronavirus. In this ocasion, Trump said “I don’t wear a mask like him”. Comments like these are being brought back to light by voters and are making them question his ability to take this pandemic seriously. 

Although there are a lot of critics it is also necessary to highlight the fact that the president being sick has made a wave of sympathy and prayers throughout the nation. With that, the democrat party must be very careful on how reacted the news, as to not cause any backlash in the days leading up to the election. On social media Biden has shown his support to the president.

What voting polls are showing

Now how will this affect the polls? Time is running out for the president and the public consistently gives bad remarks for the way he has handled the pandemic and racial issues in the U.S. Him contracting the virus puts the focus back on these negative points and statements he has made in the past and disfavors him in the re-election process. 

The outcome is seen in a Reuters poll taken from October 2 to 3, that shows Biden with a lead of 10%. Compared to the weeks before, the democrat got a lead of 2% with Americans justifying their choice with fear that with Mr. Trump in office the outcome of the pandemic might be worse.

Despite the drop in voting intentions shortly after becoming infected with the coronavirus, Trump is recovering in the polls. The recent IBD / TIPP poll of voting intent released on October 26 shows Joe Biden with 52% of voting intentions, against Trump’s 45%. Those who do not know or have not answered add up to 5%. 

So far, the president is growing in some importants states, but Biden still is winning in the Electoral College, but a Trump’s victory still is not impossible. Now, we have to wait and see how both parties will come out of a race that will definitely be remembered as not only crazy but unique.


The article above was edited by Camila Nascimento.

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