Will coronavirus change the 2020 campaign trail?

Many people are questioning whether President Donald Trump should be tested for the novel coronavirus, especially after Rep. Matt Gaetz, who flew on Air Force One with him recently, and Rep. Doug Collins, who he shook hands with on Friday, were both informed that they came into contact with a COVID-19 patient at CPAC and entered self-isolation.

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But, Trump doesn’t have any symptoms, and he has a medical team behind him that is likely conducting an in-depth analysis of his potential exposure.

The bigger question, really, is whether politicians should continue to host massive political rallies as they head toward Election Day and continue risking exposure to both themselves and supporters.

CORONAVIRUS AT CPAC: DIAGNOSIS TRIGGERS SCRAMBLE TO TRACE EXPOSURE

If we’re going to be sending out guidelines to cities, employers and individuals about proper screenings and minimizing large gatherings, political campaigns should be no exception. My advice would be to start with simple guidelines for rally attendees:

  1. Minimize crowd size to a controlled number
  2. Exclude children under the age of 12
  3. Screen all attendees at the door and ask: Are you currently suffering from respiratory illness? Have you traveled outside the U.S. in the last 14 days? Do you know of anyone in your inner circle who may have been exposed to the coronavirus? Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  4. Are you currently suffering from respiratory illness?
  5. Have you traveled outside the U.S. in the last 14 days?
  6. Do you know of anyone in your inner circle who may have been exposed to the coronavirus?
  7. Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?

Additionally, I think organizers should use temperature guns to screen attendees before entering an event. Politicians could also use their platforms to discourage handshaking and stop hugging the elderly and kissing babies.

CORONAVIRUS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Elsewhere in the world, professional athletes are playing in front of empty arenas, and political leaders are giving speeches from behind the safety of a television screen. In all reality, I think it’s probably just a matter of time before we, too, are rallying through a television screen.