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Political analyst weighs impact of President Trump's positive COVID test

Stock market futures drop sharply following Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis
Posted at 1:14 PM, Oct 02, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Hours after news broke of President Trump's positive COVID-19 test, CBS 6 Political Analyst Doctor Bob Holsworth weighed in on the impact it would have on the election.

"This adds a degree of uncertainty that we had not imagined at all," said Dr. Bob.

He expected that President Trump would have to quarantine for at least a week -- putting campaign events and possibly even future debates on hold.

As for public opinion, the positive test, according to Dr. Bob, could garner sympathy from some but criticism from others.

However, he doesn’t see it drastically changing the way people vote -- or the results of the presidential race in Virginia.

Dr. Bob does say however, that it could get more people out to the polls, including for the competitive congressional races in the Commonwealth.

"The issue is not so much that it would have a direct impact, but once again, there's ultimately -- this impact turn out. Does it make one side, more or less enthusiastic about coming to the polls?" asked Dr. Bob. "I don't think people are going to vote for Abigail Spanberger and Nick Freitas, on the basis of what they think of the president's diagnosis. But how does this impact the enthusiasm and interest of people coming to the polls?"

As for what would happen next, Dr. Bob said he expected to see extensive contact tracing going on around the president, including testing for former Vice President Joe Biden, who stood little more than six feet away from Donald Trump during the debate earlier in the week.

"I mean, one could imagine, in the worst case scenario, we could have two presidential candidates, both impacted by this, which would be a horror story for America right now," said Dr. Bob.

He added that if either candidate were unable to run -- the Republican or Democratic National Committee state by state would choose another candidate, and that candidate would get the Republican Electors or Democratic Electors from those who already casted their ballots.

"I don't think that would be a huge issue in terms of the technicality of it, because people are selecting electors, and the Republican National Committee would just change the name of the candidate that the electors are selecting," said Dr. Bob.

Dr. Bob believed it to be highly unlikely that the election would be delayed.

"You know, short of anything, which would be an immediate national emergency -- we've had elections during the Civil War during wartime. And my sense is that there will be an election on November 3 this year as well," Dr. Bob said.

The news of President Trump's positive COVID-19 test came one week after Governor Northam and Pamela Northam also announced their positive tests.

In a tweet, Northam sent his best wished to the president and first lady, and reiterated the seriousness of the virus.