Explained: What happens to US election 2020 if coronavirus puts Donald Trump out?
Washington, Oct 05: Since the US President Donald Trump announced that he and Melania Trump have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, it has led to uncertainty about how the presidential election of November 3 will now be held.
Trump is being treated at Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland. While his physician Sean Conley has maintained that the President is doing well and is fever-free, White House Chief of Staff has said Trump's vital signs have been "very concerning".
What happens if Trump is forced to step out of the election due to COVID-19?
According to reports, it can be seen that there are no rules about a presidential candidate's replacement mentioned in the US Constitution. This is decided by the candidate's party itself. Therefore, if Trump has to withdraw, it will be up to the Republican party to decide who replaces him.
The Republican Party's rules empower the Republican National Committee (RNC), which comprises 168 members who are senior officials from each state, to decide who will be the presidential candidate if Trump has to withdraw.
There are two ways the RNC can choose a replacement, by a simple majority vote, or by reconvening the party convention which looks unlikely now with the election less than a month away.
These rules are applicable in case of a presidential or a vice presidential candidate's withdrawal or death.
Have elections ever been postponed?
According to a 2004 CRS report, over more than 150 years, there have been a few instances where elections have been postponed, such as the 2001 New York state primary because of 9/11, and the 1992 Florida primary because of Hurricane Andrew.