Washington – The contagion of the coronavirus by Donald Trump radically changes the dynamics of his campaign in search of re-election: It represents a severe setback just four weeks before the vote and puts his team on the difficult mission of seeing how he handles the presentations of an infected president.
The contest threatens to slip out of Trump’s hands after spending 72 hours hospitalized with COVID-19, the virus that has had a huge impact on the country and on his campaign. And while his Democratic rival Joe Biden spoke in one of the most revered places by Americans, the president, back in the White House, added to the chaos in Washington by announcing that he was suspending negotiations on new stimulus for the economy.
Trump planned a dramatic return to the White House, posing for photos while removing a mask, and pressuring his aides to send him back to campaign as soon as possible. He even wants to participate in a second debate with Biden scheduled for next week. Trump, however, remains contagious and his health must be closely monitored, sparking divisions among his advisers about how to handle this setback.RELATED
Some say the situation lends itself to Trump finally showing some empathy for those affected by a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 people in the United States, left millions out of work, and lost him ground in polls.
Others, instead, say that abruptly changing course after seven months of trying to transmit strength in the face of the virus would not work, proposing instead to intensify the message to harangue their supporters.
Trump has made clear what he wants.
“I look forward to the debate on Thursday night, October 15 in Miami. It’ll be great! ”He tweeted Tuesday, after making the wrong comparisons between the dangers posed by COVID-19 and the flu.
“We will be campaigning again soon!” He said in another tweet.
For months Trump raised a dilemma between him and Biden, but when he caught the virus he took even more prominence to his handling of the pandemic and relegated his workhorses to the background: the economy and the Supreme Court, for which he nominated another conservative judge.
Trump then made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that White House delegates were withdrawing from congressional negotiations on an economic stimulus, blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the lack of progress and assuming the political responsibility for suspending the talks. Almost immediately the bag fell.
The virus is omnipresent in the White House, where more infections were reported on Tuesday and rooms of the presidential residence were adapted so that they can function as offices. Some members of Trump’s team noted that while he had many wishes for a speedy recovery, even from Democrats, his contagion did not elicit much sympathy, largely because of the impression that he sought it out himself.
Trump wants to resume his campaign activities as soon as possible, but it remains contagious and it is not clear if he will be given the go-ahead to participate in next week’s debate, in which he will try to erase the bad impression left in the first debate. , during which he interrupted Biden countless times.
Trump lags behind in the polls, even in the decisive states. His people are optimistic about Florida, Arizona and North Carolina, but things are not looking good in Michigan and Wisconsin, increasing the importance of Pennsylvania, the state that could decide everything.
Biden was there Tuesday and gave a speech in which he did not mention Trump once and called for unity.
He spoke at Gettysburg, where the bloodiest battle of the civil war of 1861-65 took place and where Abraham Lincoln made another powerful call for the unity of the country.
“Our divisions are old. Racial and economic inequalities have defined us for generations, but I give you my word that, if elected President, I will appeal to the ingenuity and goodwill of this nation to transform divisions into unity, ”said Biden.
Her campaign, meanwhile, released a video of former first lady Michelle Obama harshly criticizing Trump.
“Seven months after” the onset of the pandemic, he said, “he still does not wear a mask consistently and does not encourage others to do so, even though these simple measures may save numerous lives.”
“Instead, he continues to encourage people to behave as if this pandemic is not a real threat.”