Vermont officials react to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, legal expert weighs in

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Governor Phil Scott began Friday’s state briefing by touching on some national news, after the President announced overnight he and the First Lady have tested positive for COVID-19.

“My thoughts are with the president and his family and the many people he may have come in contact with recently,” said Gov. Phil Scott.

The governor says we will have to see in real time how this affects future debates and campaign events, but says this is an important reminder the virus knows no boundaries and we must remain vigilant.

“This can be a teaching moment for everyone that this doesn’t discriminate,” the governor said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, how powerful you are, this can bring you to your knees so to speak.”

Health commissioner Mark Levine echoed many of those sentiments and reinforced that testing simply isn’t enough to prevent the virus. Trump has been widely criticized for downplaying the severity of the virus and effectiveness of masks.

“I’m quite confident the president would have tested negative many many days before he was positive,” Dr. Levine said. “Testing is not prevention.”

“Election day is coming no matter what,” said Jared Carter, Vermont Law School Professor. “I think the question is ‘how much is the president going to be engaged in that process here on out?'”

While doctors say the next few days are critical to Trump’s recovery, Carter says there are provisions in the U.S. constitution should he become unable to carry out the job.

“Under the 25th amendment, the president could voluntarily turn over power, you have to do it in writing and the vice president would stand in as the acting president until such time that the president in writing can resume normal duties.”

Carter cited George W Bush’s presidency as he formally gave power to his V.P. while undergoing a colonoscopy in 2002.

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