Last updated on October 5, 2020
The Trump campaign goes virtual and now may attempt a national address to get more free media even after spreading the Trump virus at a fundraiser Thursday.
Contact tracing may go back to the Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS nominee announcement as the super-spreader event, even as Hope Hicks specifically has been identified.
Fox News floated the idea that in terms of Biden’s appearances, that they suspend campaigning, reminding us of the McCain suspension in 2008. Pence will still be on the road. And surprise, we’re not talking about white supremacy now.
Mark Hanna’s actions for McKinley seem apropos today, with a month left and Trump trails, looking for that October surprise.
The Republican campaign painted McKinley as the “advance agent of prosperity” and social harmony and warned of the supposed dangers of electing Bryan. McKinley and his campaign manager, Mark Hanna, knew that McKinley could not match Bryan's oratorical skills. Rather than giving speeches on the campaign trail, the Republican nominee conducted a front porch campaign. Hanna, meanwhile, raised an unprecedented amount of money, dispatched campaign surrogates and organized the distribution of millions of pieces of campaign literature.
And from the Duty to Warn perspective, we have become cynical. ‘Catching’ the virus and mounting a miraculous recovery prior to election day was certainly a tactical option.
Both Hicks and Trump could have caught the virus from a third person, or from completely different people. Indeed, there are plenty of candidates. Many of Trump’s supporters and aides have been vocal about not wearing masks, and frequently came into close contact with other people in indoor spaces. Melania Trump has also tested positive, as have Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and the University of Notre Dame president John Jenkins. Many of them were at the Rose Garden event on September 26, when Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Others in the White House, at Trump’s rallies, and at Tuesday’s debate could have been exposed. Contract tracing in these situations will be extremely difficult.
“Everyone who was at the debate should now be quarantining as much as possible, monitoring themselves closely for symptoms, wearing masks, and keeping their physical distance as much as possible,” says Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University. That goes for Biden, too, despite today’s negative test. After being exposed to the virus, half of the people who go on to show symptoms are symptomatic by day five—that would be Sunday for Biden, if he was exposed during the debate. About 98 percent of people are symptomatic by day 12, which would be next Sunday. If Biden is still testing negative a week from now, “it’ll be a good sign that there’s little likelihood of having been infected,” Murray says. Until then, he has to wait.
The image of Trump shouting at Biden on a national stage raises the specter of the former infecting the latter. But as ever, the pandemic says as much about the world we live in as the behavior of individuals. That we are even weighing the possibility of the incumbent president inadvertently infecting his opponent with a pandemic virus during a nationally televised event should be an indictment of America’s laxity in dealing with the pandemic—its reticence to restrict indoor activities, which give the virus the best chance of finding new hosts; its failure to enforce measures like masks, which might render such events safer; and its continuing inability to control the disease, which many nations have brought to heel.
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: