In a twist of irony that a table of Hollywood writers couldn’t have scripted better, Donald Trump, renowned coronavirus denier and belittler, has come down with COVID-19 himself — just one month before the presidential election.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The news caused an explosion of uncertainty both within the US and without — all around the world eyes are now watching to see what happens next. Nervous investors started “de-risking” and selling off oil and gas stocks this morning, causing volatility within the market.
That volatility could normalize soon, if the President recovers quickly. It could also get much worse if he doesn’t.
While the stock market will continue trading despite that uncertainty, other gambling platforms like Betfair have suspended their 2020 presidential election bets in the wake of Trump’s COVID diagnosis. The level of uncertainty is now so high, there’s no way to strategically bet on an outcome until more information comes to light, and until Donald Trump's fate is a little clearer.
The president made the announcement of his diagnosis early Friday via Twitter (how else?) and most of the nation woke up to the news.
Prior to Trump's Tweet, and the suspension of Betfair’s US election bets, the gambling site predicted Joe Biden’s probability of winning at 60% (on September 30th) — up from 56% prior to the first debate. Trump’s odds of winning, by comparison, had dropped by 40% following the debate.
Then he got sick, and all odds went out the window. At least for the time being. This throws a big question-mark-shaped monkey-wrench into the election: What happens if Trump becomes incapacitated and Pence has to take over the campaign trail? What happens if he dies?
There’s no knowing — everything is up in the air — everyone is waiting on the edge of their seats to see where these chips fall. And until they do, all bets are off.