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Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis: Former presidents are silent


Former presidents are silent on Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis despite illness plunging White House into health and possible constitutional crisis

  • Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have been silent on the news of President Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis
  • There has been no public statements on social media
  • Joe Biden tweeted his best wishes to the Trumps
  • Speaker Pelosi said she is praying for them 

By Emily Goodin, Senior U.s. Political Reporter For

Published: | Updated:

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have been publicly silent on the news of President Donald Trump‘s COVID diagnosis.

A number of lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have offered messages of support to the president and Melania Trump after they tested positive for the disease.

Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted his best wishes to the couple.

‘I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands,’ Biden wrote. 

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is praying for the Trumps.

‘We all received that news with great sadness. I always pray for the President’s family that they’re safe. I continue to do so more intensified, and I know that he’ll have the best of care, and that’s what we want for everyone in our country,’ she said Friday morning on MSNBC. 

But Trump’s predecessors have been noticeably silent on social media about the current occupants of the White House. As have Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 rival, and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have been publicly silent on the news of President Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis

Many lawmakers have offered their best wishes to President Trump and the first lady

President Trump tweeted the news of diagnosis shortly before 1 am on Friday, saying he and the first lady. 

Trump adviser Hope Hicks tested positive on Wednesday but she traveled on Air Force One with the president to Cleveland for the debate and sees him on a daily basis. It’s uncertain when she would have been infected. 

Hicks, 31, is said to have first felt unwell returning from a rally in Minnesota on the president’s plane Wednesday evening. 

She was quarantined away from others on the plane and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, pictured on Tuesday, are both experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after being diagnosed with COVID-19. They are quarantining in the White House 

Hope Hicks hours before her diagnosis: Hope Hicks, far right, is pictured boarding Marine One on Wednesday. The President was also onboard alongside Stephen Miller, second from right, Jared Kushner, center. Her coronavirus diagnosis was announced the next day. They were on their way to Minnesota when this photograph was taken. She started feeling unwell on the way back 

The president and first lady are quarantining in the White House residence.

Melania tweeted on Friday that she had mild symptoms but was feeling ‘good’. 

Trump has not tweeted since 1 am on Friday when he revealed the diagnosis, and was last seen in person on Thursday evening, returning from the fundraiser. He was due to take part in a conference call with governors at 12.15 pm but was replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative.

Trump’s positive test for the coronavirus set off cascading effects through the chain of government – and raises a raft of constitutional issues should he endure a difficult illness or lose his battle with the disease.

The Constitution and laws enacted by Congress provide for a line of succession, as well as provisions for how to proceed if the president becomes incapacitated. A web of party and state election laws make provisions for how to proceed if a candidate must be replaced on the ballot. 

The Election Day itself is fixed by law, and can be moved only by an act of Congress. 

But there are ambiguities in all areas – from national party rules to state election law and even the line of succession – providing multiple avenues for chaos just 32 days before the Nov. 3 election.


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