In an absolutely jaw-dropping twist to the 2020 election cycle, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19. The announcement of Trump’s positive test followed several hours after Hope Hicks, Presidential Counselor, also announced a positive test. Trump will abide by medical recommendation and quarantine for the foreseeable future at the White House.
Two tweets by Trump highlighted the bookends of this presidential Covid twist:
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!President Trump on Twitter
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
While the exact state of President Trump and the First Lady remains unclear, no campaign events have been cancelled. But beyond the campaign, the quarantine ramifications of Coronavirus on the Administration will be widespread. Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett was potentially exposed, as were members of the executive staff like Mark Meadows. Members of the House and Senate could also potentially face voluntary quarantine restrictions.
But the big picture in Washington and beyond is just as dire, equally extraordinary. The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a 2-trillion dollar plus stimulus plan that will have to be seriously considered. The Supreme Court confirmation battle for Barrett could be thrown into question. The sputtering economy and a slumping stock market will have to brace for not only the fallout from President Trump’s quarantine, but also a new jobs report that will be released Friday morning.
Looking beyond the earth-shaking impact of the Trump quarantine on macro events, the 2020 campaign for the Presidency just got a lot more complicated. Former Vice President Joe Biden will have to tread lightly, reigning in his attacks and those of his surrogates on a Presidency-in-peril. New questions will also certainly arise over the efficacy of the two additional, upcoming debates between the Trump and Biden.
Stock Futures plunged on the news of Trump’s quarantine. Dow Jones Futures fell off a cliff, down 400+ points. Nasdaq and S&P Futures faired just as bad, dropping 200+ points and 50+ points respectively.
To close, the official statement by First Lady Melania Trump:
As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.