Pence Could Take Over Presidency, 2020 Nomination

“It would be an astonishing development if Biden were to end up being infected by his opponent.” – The Hill

Trump Bombshell Upends Everything

| ALSO: Pence, wife test negative for COVID-19

Oct 2, 2020

The Hill – President Trump’s positive test for COVID-19 rocketed around the world, spooking stock markets and delivering a megawatt jolt of uncertainty to the election campaign.

Some of the repercussions from the latest news are plain. Others are unknowable.

One reality is the starkest. The president, 74 and overweight, faces a grave health challenge.

First lady Melania Trump and one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, have also been infected but both women are much younger than the president at 50 and 31, respectively.

If Trump’s condition worsens, he could invoke the 25th Amendment

It is possible that the next few days will see a stabilization. The president is reportedly showing no symptoms. If that remains the case, he could be back on something resembling a normal schedule in a couple of weeks.

But there are more somber possibilities.

If Trump’s condition worsened significantly, he could invoke a clause of the 25th Amendment that allows a president to transfer his powers temporarily to the vice president.

If Vice President Pence took the reins at that point, it would only be the fourth time the clause in question — Section 3 — has been invoked in the past 40 years. President Reagan signed off on it once, and President George W. Bush twice. All three instances were for scheduled surgeries.

There is also the possibility — remote for now, but plausible — that the president simply would not be healthy enough to seek a second term.

Such a scenario would spark political chaos. Depending on exactly how the situation developed, Pence could take over the presidency and the 2020 nomination, or a new GOP nominee could be selected by the Republican National Committee.

Ballots already cast for Trump in early voting would accrue to his replacement.

Even if Trump’s condition does not worsen in a major way, the fate of the two remaining presidential debates hangs in the balance. It seems unlikely that the second debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, will go ahead in person. The third debate is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Nashville.

Another huge question is whether Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, had any exposure to the virus during the first debate. No-one knows when Trump became infected. The first clash put Biden into fairly close proximity to Trump for 90 minutes, roughly 48 hours before the latter’s positive test.

Biden, 77, is at high risk if he gets COVID-19, and his campaign has gone to great lengths to guard against the risk. It would be an astonishing development, even by 2020’s gothic standards, if Biden were to end up being infected by his opponent. Read more. 

Pence and his wife test negative for COVID-19

The Latest: Associated Press

Oct 2, 202

8:10 a.m.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for COVID-19 Friday morning, hours after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Spokesman Devin O’Malley says Pence “remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.” Pence is tested every day for the virus, O’Malley confirmed.
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5:15 a.m.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is extending wishes of a speedy recovery to U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, and expressing “sincere support in this difficult moment,” according to a statement released by the Kremlin on Friday.
Trump announced on Twitter early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Kremlin says Putin sent Trump a telegram saying, “I hope that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.”
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5 a.m.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he and his wife have tested negative for the coronavirus after they were examined on their airplane 20 minutes prior to landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on Friday.
He said it was the fourth time in two weeks he has been tested.
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Pompeo says the last time he was with Trump was on Sept. 15, at the White House, for the signing of normalization agreements among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The top U.S. diplomat says he is reconsidering upcoming travel to Florida on Saturday and Asia starting Sunday as a precaution.
He says, “We are praying for the president and the First Lady and we hope they have a speedy recovery.”
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4:30 a.m.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is wishing U.S. President Donald Trump a “speedy recovery” from COVID-19.
Johnson tweeted Friday morning: “My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus.”
Johnson was hospitalized for a week in April after he contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. After he was released, the prime minister thanked doctors and nurses at St. Thomas’s Hospital for saving his life. Johnson was treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he received oxygen but was not put on a ventilator.
Trump announced on Twitter early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
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4:20 a.m.
The Kremlin is sending wishes of speedy recovery to U.S. President Donald Trump after he said he and his wife Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We certainly wish President Trump a speedy and easy recovery,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday.
Russia currently has the fourth largest coronavirus caseload in the world with over 1.19 million confirmed cases and more than 21,000 deaths. The outbreak in Russia started to grow rapidly in September, with health officials reporting 9,412 new confirmed cases Friday in the largest daily surge since late May.
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3:55 a.m.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wishing the U.S. president and the first lady a “full and speedy recovery” after they said they tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery,” Netanyahu tweeted on his official account, referring to his wife.
Netanyahu led an Israeli delegation to the White House for the Sept. 15 signing of normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at an outdoor ceremony attended by hundreds of people. Attendees did not practice social distancing and most guests did not wear masks.
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2:20 a.m.
Vice President Mike Pence says he and his wife, Karen, are sending their “love and prayers” to President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump after the Trumps announced early Friday that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Pence says on Twitter, “We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery.”
Trump’s positive test came just hours after he confirmed late Thursday that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus.
The White House had no immediate comment on whether Pence had been tested after the Trumps’ and Hicks’ diagnoses.
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1:40 a.m.
President Donald Trump’s White House doctor has issued a statement saying the president will continue carrying out his duties “without disruption” after contracting the coronavirus.
Dr. Sean Conley, the physician to the president, says the president and first lady Melania Trump “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
Trump has canceled plans to attend a fundraiser and to fly to Florida for a rally on Friday, but he did keep on his schedule a previously planned midday telephone call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.”

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