President’s Trump’s Karmic Krisis

The news that President Trump (and the First Lady) have COVID-19 throws the political landscape into unknown territory. Because he is 74 years old, male and obese, there’s a 34% chance that he might die. However, he will obviously – unlike you and me – receive the best possible medical care. His odds will be better.

Still, he might meet his maker in a development that makes even the most hardened atheist wonder if there’s someone Up There. And even if he doesn’t, he’s going to come out of this seriously physically weakened. I know from personal experience. So what happens next?

This is a development that everybody believed impossible: it weakens him with his base. Not only is his stance that COVID-19 is no big deal now lying in tatters, the mere fact that he is sick and incapacitated and quarantine makes him look like less of a big man in the eyes of his right-wing testosterone-obsessed supporters. They hate nothing more than weakness. Trump understands that a strongman has to be, well, strong.

If Trump dies before November 3, it falls to the GOP to choose a replacement nominee. The Republican National Committee could simply go with the path of least resistance, Mike Pence. But Pence himself may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus as well due to his close proximity to Trump. And the general consensus is that he doesn’t have what it takes to win a presidential election. If Trump dies, I think Joe Biden will win automatically. But the Republicans will do their best, and they would more likely turn to an also-ran like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

What if Trump and Pence are both incapacitated? Then we get acting president Nancy Pelosi.

Of course, the odds are that Trump will not die. He will probably recover, more slowly than anyone will ever know. He will never quite be the same guy and he will not live as long as he would have otherwise. If he is reelected after a recount crisis of epic proportions, the man we see in the Oval Office will be diminished. Ironically, he will be weak physically as well as mentally. Unless Biden himself prevails, we will end up with a Republican Joe Biden.

So this is the way America ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at, editor-in-chief of, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

8 thoughts on “President’s Trump’s Karmic Krisis

  1. One pathway you haven’t discussed: It is not unrealistic that Trump will remain asymptomatic or nearly so.
    Imagine post-COVID Trump showing up at the second debate. “I had the Chinese virus. That’s what many of the smartest minds are calling it. I recovered. I have a strong immune system, a beautiful, genius immune system. Now, Joe Biden* over there, it would’ve killed him. I’m glad I got it and not you, Joe. Do you need a chair?”
    (* The name is actually Joe, um, Biden, but Trump can be forgiven the error.)

    If that happens? Trump wins. The turnout on his side will go through the roof because Trump beating this will “prove” he’s strong and that it was never that serious, just a ploy by the dems to kill the economy.

    • This is what will happen. It is more sinister than this. He probably doesn’t have it. Someone did some political math and decided he should have it so he can say exactly what you said.

    • There are a couple of dice throws once a person is infected. Can the immune system keep a lid on the mucous membranes in the mouth and nose? From then on becomes truly ugly: Does the virus go on to replicate in the lungs? Does it affect the blood stream and play havoc with the small capillaries near the heart? Does it enter the olfactory bulb (part of the central nervous system) leading to the reported loss of taste? As Ted points out, you do not want your lungs, cardio-vascular system, or central nervous system compromised…

      There are too many people in the inner circle infected right now (and a huge number of contacts at risk) for the dice to come up lucky that often in a row. But no matter how lucky they get, clinically speaking, updates about this cluster are going to trickle in keeping the story alive for weeks.

      It will even – pardon the pun – infect all other newsbreaks: Did Biden test negative again today? Pence? Can the (veep) TV debates take place? Can Senate even convene to wave through RGB’s replacement? => Coronavirus was the only issue that they couldn’t handle and now it will be front and center till November. This is game over (hopefully only figuratively speaking).

      @mjay: If they were faking it, this is a hell of a hail mary to shoot an own goal…

  2. As a devout atheist, I don’t see god in this. For me, it could be when Trump loses and then fees the country to avoid prison. Now THAT might make me a believer!

  3. One cold day and climate change deniers will cite it as proof of their belief.
    One hot day and climate change believers will cite it as proof of their belief.

    Humans are bad at science and statistics.

    If Trump survives easily, Trumpers will cite it as proof of a pandemic hoax and stop doing anything preventative at all.

    If Trump gets deathly ill, maybe more Trumpers might start wearing masks, doing social distancing, etc.

    This is an unrepeatable experiment so the hypothesis can’t be tested, but future behavior of crowds and the progress of the pandemic might hinge on the result of Trump’s disease progress.

    Good for Trump, maybe bad for millions.

    Bad for Trump, maybe good for millions.

    I wonder if the illness of Boris Johnson affected the Brit’s pandemic behavior.

  4. Has Michael Richard Pence managed to manipulate the Rapture to the extent that Donald John Trump, despite his lack of qualifications, has been allowed to participate ? All eyes on Walter Reed….


  5. And for all those out there praying that Trump drops dead.
    If he dies today or tomorrow or at any time before the last poll closes, it will trigger a constitutional crisis that will make Watergate look like a fenderbender.
    Most likely, it will result in a 4-4 decision by the Supreme Court (no help there) or a 5-3 decision in favor of whatever the Republicans want. A multitude of states will fail to certify in time and no one will achieve a 270 majority. From there, it will go to the House, but surprise. Remember all those ballots that didn’t get counted? They also determine who wins the House seats that will decide who’s president. So both sides will be fighting that on the district level.
    And all this because, in 2016, Hillary Clinton rigged the dnc primary, to make sure Bernie Sanders lost.

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