The Observer view on Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection | Observer editorial

Let’s hope the president gets better – to face a poll beating

Donald Trump’s infection has given another dramatic twist to an already tumultuous and perilous US election year. The president’s illness is a significant personal blow. Hopefully, both he and the first lady will recover quickly. The fact Trump has succumbed to a disease he spent many months downplaying and dismissing is also a serious political setback. It raises basic questions about his judgment as well as his health with less than a month remaining before the 3 November poll.

Impartial observers may say that Trump’s very human misfortune in catching a virus that has killed more than a million people worldwide, including 208,000 Americans, should not adversely affect his political prospects. But such generosity of spirit ignores the harshly subjective realities of the Trump era. Ever since he emerged as a candidate for national office, it has been all but impossible to separate the personal from the political. That’s primarily because Trump invariably makes everything about him.

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