President Trump. RollingNews.ie photo
By Ray O'Hanlon
They speak of October surprises in politics. This was a positive shocker - and on only the second day of the tenth month.
President Trump tweeted Friday morning that he and First Lady Melania had tested positive for Coronavirus.
The news plunges an already chaotic presidential election campaign into uncharted territory. Vice President Mike Pence, according to reports, tested negative for the virus but will likely now be tested repeatedly in the coming days.
Pence is due to debate Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Wednesday, October 7. There is now a degree of doubt over that debate, as there is over the next presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden scheduled for October 15 - at least in its planned in-person format.
The Democratic candidate has stated that he hopes for a swift recovery for both Trumps.
"Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family," Biden tweeted.
The Irish American Republicans lobby group also stated its hopes for a quick recovery.
"I, and the entire leadership of the Irish American Republicans, wish President and Mrs Trump a full and speedy recovery from COVID. We hope that the President stays well, and is back in fighting form in short order," said the IAR's Grant Lally.
"As an old Irish blessing says, 'May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.' We wish the President and his family the very best."
Biden and Trump were on the same stage Tuesday evening for their first debate in Cleveland. They did not shake hands and were socially distant. The question is, was that distance enough. Former vice president Biden will now undergo a Covid test.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, in a twitter message, wished the president and first lady a "full and speedy" recovery.
Later Friday morning it was being reported that Joe and Jill Biden both tested negative for Covid-19 after being tested as has Vice President Pence.