WASHINGTON–President Trump is not only campaigning for a second term, but also may have a new relief bill to sign soon. If he gets really sick with the virus, the duties could go to the vice president, says Dr. Laura Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis.
“As long as he’s able to do what is required of him, he’s certainly still capable of being in that position,” said Wilson. “The 25th Amendment says if his illness makes him unable to discharge his duties then the vice president would take over temporarily.”
She said Mike Pence has been willing to do that, if called upon, but that the situation is still wait and see, depending on how Mr. Trump’s health holds up.
“Historically, this has happened before. We saw it with Dick Cheney when George W. had a colonoscopy. But, obviously colonoscopies are more predictable and that’s a different case here,” she said.
She said there’s also a lot of subjectivity in the wording of the 25th Amendment and what would make a president “unable” to do his work.
Wilson said the campaign will likely be affected by the president’s illness not only because he will not be able to travle for ten days to two weeks, but because debates do have an effect on how some undecided people might vote.
“If he is unable to do the debate, and I’ve heard conversations about whether or not they would change to a virtual format. I’m not sure how they would do that and whether they would do that. If he’s unable to, it freezes the campaign as is.”
She said the vice-presidential debate is still on. Pence tested negative.