Congressman who survived COVID-19, constitutional law professor react to Trump’s diagnosis

‘It’s not good news for the Trump campaign, and it’s not good news for the country’

ROANOKE, Va. – The world’s attention is on President Donald Trump’s health as he deals with COVID-19, but two political voices in Virginia have unique perspectives on the situation.

Rep. Morgan Griffith, who represents southwest Virginia in Congress, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July. He said he survived the virus without any lasting damage and is optimistic President Trump will also recover in full.

“I had a mild fever for about a day and a half. I was tired, I felt the fatigue for about a week," Griffith said. “President Trump is just going to have to ride this thing through. He’s going to be a little more tired than usual, so instead of working 19 to 20 hours a day, he’s going to have to cut back to 15 hours.”

Constitutional law professor Stewart Harris hosts a show on Virginia public radio station WVTF. Harris said he hopes Trump heals from COVID-19, but also thinks about the worst-case scenario.

“This is obviously not good news for the Trump campaign, and it’s not good news for the country," Harris said. “It’s not a good thing if the Commander in Chief is ill. If this becomes a significant illness, we’ve got a real problem.”

If Trump becomes unable to fulfill his duties as president, Harris said the most-likely scenario is utilizing the 25th Amendment to transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence. However, he said this is unprecedented territory because Election Day is only a month away.

“Theoretically, the party could change their nominee, but at this late stage, as both a practical and a legal matter, it’s not clear that they could," Harris said.

While the world watches Trump’s health closely, Griffith believes the President will not be down for long.

“I think you’ll see in about 48 hours, President Trump will be back up and running," Griffith said. "He just won’t be going out as much.”

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