October Surprise forces Trump off campaign trail

The revelation late Thursday night that President Donald Trump had tested positive for the Coronavirus further scrambled the 2020 race for the White House, as the President scrapped a Friday campaign rally in Florida, facing the possibility that he could be sidelined from the campaign trail for an extended period of time.


The President had been scheduled to host a Washington, D.C. fundraiser on Friday, and then fly to Central Florida for a campaign rally - but all of that was put on hold after his test for the virus came back positive.


Mr. Trump had also been scheduled to fly to Wisconsin for a pair of campaign rallies on Saturday. Ironically, the visit to the Badger State had become somewhat controversial in recent days, as Wisconsin has been the hotbed of a recent surge of Coronavirus cases.


The President was also scheduled to hold a rally in Tucson, Arizona on Monday evening, and another rally in Flagstaff, Arizona on Tuesday night. Those events - in a key state for November - could be in limbo because of the President’s health.





The extraordinary situation was unparalleled in U.S. history, especially with Election Day on November, barely one month away.


“We’re all hoping for a speedy recovery Mr. President,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID).


“Praying for a speedy recovery,” added Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ).


Obviously, the President could still do phone calls and other remote speeches without traveling, but the allure of the campaign rally is one of Mr. Trump’s favorite scenes.





The developments came two days after the President mocked Joe Biden for wearing a mask during the first 2020 debate between the two White House hopefuls.

“I don’t wear masks like him," the President said dismissively at the debate in Cleveland. "Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau

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