US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania have Corona. Learn what that means for the US government – and who would take power if Vice President Mike Pence was hit.
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To Positive corona test of US President Donald Trump many questions remain open. One of the most urgent: what actually happens to the US government – who is running the most powerful country in the world when the president is in quarantine, who might need treatment?
The quick answer was given Friday morning by Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley: he expected that despite his corona contamination, Trump could continue official affairs “without interruption.” In a statement, he said Trump and his wife Melania are doing well. The two would remain in the White House during their recovery.
“Rest assured that I expect the president to continue to perform his duties uninterrupted during his recovery,” Conley said in his letter.
The letter from Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley. (Source: Reuters)
He and the White House medical team would be vigilant. Conley made it clear that the president and first lady had the support of some of the country’s “greatest” medical experts and institutions.
Is Trump getting corona symptoms?
However, this view is only a snapshot at first. Whether Trump can actually continue to rule in the coming days will depend very much on whether the president of the United States is more suffering from the effects of a corona infection – or whether his illness is asymptomatic.
If the former occurs, Trump may need to undergo clinical treatment like his British counterpart Boris Johnson, if he is most likely unable to continue his official business. If so, Trump would temporarily delegate his government duties to Vice President Mike Pence. Later, after a recovery, he would take back control.
“There is a protocol for everything”
The U.S. Constitution also provides for the possibility of a sudden deterioration in Trump’s medical condition. If Trump can no longer formally take over official affairs himself, for example because he has to be intubated, Pence can also take matters into his own hands with the approval of the cabinet.
Even in the very unlikely event that Pence and Trump could not lead the US administration, provisions were made: then House majority leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrats) would take power.
“There’s a protocol for everything,” said former adviser to Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, David Axelrod, to Bloomberg news magazine. At the same time, however, he also admitted, “We have routinely gone through the procedures for a terrorist attack or a nuclear attack, but frankly, we have never expected a pandemic situation like the one in the White House right now.”