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Trump's positive COVID test throws US election into chaos

US President Donald Trump wearing a face mask against COVID-19. Reuters

A few hours ago, US President Trump announced that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Here's what we know this morning.

The Trump campaign has cancelled all upcoming events as the president is treated. Even if Trump remains asymptomatic, he will have to be isolated for an undetermined period of time at a crucial moment for his campaign. Election Day is only 32 days away.

If the president becomes sick and must be replaced as a candidate, the responsibility for replacing him would fall to the 168 members of the Republican National Committee. That group is composed of three members from each of the 50 US states plus six members from US territories. Under RNC rules, each state delegation would cast the same number of votes that it cast at the Republican convention.

Given challenger Joe Biden's physical proximity to the president during this week's debate, the Biden campaign will be expected to deliver an update on his health as quickly as possible. The Democratic process of choosing a replacement is essentially the same as the Republican process.

The kicker: Millions of ballots have already been mailed to voters with the names Trump and Biden on them. More than one million Americans have already voted.

The risk of chaos in the 2020 US presidential election just went way up.


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