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In the weeks leading up to the US presidential election, Mr. Donald Trump contracted coronavirus.
President Trump is required to protect himself for 10 days from the date he received his diagnosis that he had contracted the virus. So he can attend the next debate scheduled for October 15.
But a planned rally in the state of Florida was canceled. Instead the president will call from the White House to seniors like him with disabilities.
There are also political rallies scheduled to be held, but they must inevitably be canceled or postponed to a later date.
The president’s self-immolation will affect his ability to campaign.
So the question is whether the election can be delayed, and how will it be?
Under U.S. law, elections are held on Tuesdays following the first Monday in November, every four years – so this year it is November 3.
Changing this date is in the hands of the legislature and not the president.
Therefore, a majority of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to do so before the election date could be changed. There is no doubt that this step will be difficult given that the law must be passed by the House of Representatives, in which the Democrats have a large majority.
And even if it does change, the US Constitution stipulates that the presidency lasts only four years.
Therefore, Mr. Trump’s term ends on January 20, 2021.
Making changes to the expiration date would require parliamentary approval at the federal and state levels – which is unlikely.
What if President Trump becomes incapable of doing his job
At the moment the president is said to have only symptoms of the disease, but if his illness makes him unable to carry out his presidential duties, here is what the US Constitution says to do:
The amendment to the country’s 25th constitution says the president can hand over power to his vice president, which means Mike Pence will become vice president. But once he recovers, Mr. Trump may accept his position.
This has happened under the reigns of Ronald Reagan and George W Bush.
But if the president is in a situation where he cannot hand over power on his own, then his ministers and the vice president come together to declare it, and hand over power to his deputy.
If Mr. Pence finds himself in such a situation, then under the constitution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – a Democrat – becomes president.
If she fails to do so, the power will be handed over to a senior Republican senator now known as Charles E Grassley, who is 87 years old.