PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How will President Donald Trump’s diagnosis of coronavirus impact the race for the presidency, especially here in western Pennsylvania?
Two local political strategists offered their insights to KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Friday. A presidential election is well underway with voters voting right now.
“Obviously, President Trump’s COVID diagnosis is going to fundamentally change the way the campaign operates. The huge rallies that he loves so much that he has been doing are obviously going to be put on hold,” says Republican strategist Mike DeVanney.
The Trump events like those in Latrobe and Moon are out for a while, but DeVanney says, ironically, this bout with COVID may actually help the president.
“If you look at other world leaders who have contracted this virus, which there are more than a handful, you’ve actually seen their numbers go up,” says DeVanney. “We’ve actually seen them, be it sympathy or whatever, you’ve seen the rebound in their numbers.”
Possibly but not likely, says Democratic strategist Mike Mikus.
“The president was the victim of his own carelessness,” says Mikus.
Democrats say this highlights the president’s mishandling of the pandemic, including Trump ridiculing Joe Biden for wearing a mask and Trump’s ignoring medical advice.
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“One thing that people look for in a president is somebody who is not going to be careless, who is not going to be reckless, who is going to listen to experts,” says Mikus.
Mikus says Biden should keep up his coronavirus-safe travel to key battleground areas, including the counties in this region.
“If he does that, I think politically, he’ll be fine,” Mikus said.
And health permitting, watch for Trump to campaign from his home just like Biden did a couple of months ago.
“Perhaps campaign electronically, the way you and I are communicating, perhaps you can do that in isolation,” adds DeVanney.