White House Physician Sean Conley announced in a letter he expected President Donald Trump to continue carrying out his duties as president, despite testing positive for the coronavirus.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” U.S. Navy Commander physician Sean Conley wrote in a letter released to reporters.
The letter from Trump’s physician did not stop media outlets from speculating about the succession of power and whether Trump should even remain on the ballot.
“If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all,” the New York Times wrote on Friday morning. CNN also spent time speculating about the succession of power as the president had tested positive.
The White House updated the daily schedule early Friday to note the president would host a phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors on Friday at 12:15 p.m. and cancel a rally in Florida that he had scheduled for the day.
Vice President Mike Pence did not announce any test results on Friday, but issued a statement confirming he was praying for the president and the first lady’s recovery.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would fall second in line in presidential succession, a fact many on the left celebrated.
Former Department of Homeland Security advisor and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem reported on Twitter that the “Doomsday Planes” had been deployed just prior to the president’s announcement on Twitter.
Without being dramatic, these are the doomsday planes (we should probably change the name) established during Cold War in event of presidential death or illness to deter adversaries. https://t.co/hOf6wMYQZc
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) October 2, 2020
In May, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany dismissed questions about presidential succession.
“That’s not even something that we’re addressing,” McEnany said at the time. “We’re keeping the president healthy. We’re keeping the vice president healthy and, you know, they’re healthy at this moment and they’ll continue to be.”