Midlands voters react to President Trump testing positive for COVID-19

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The news that President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the country, including here in the Midlands, when he tweeted in the early hours of Friday morning.

With the election just over a month away, many voters in South Carolina expressed concern for the president, but the overarching opinion from people on both sides was the same.

“I’d love to say I’m shocked, but I’m not because of watching him on TV and never wearing a mask. Personally, I thought it was just a matter of time,” Stephanie Hembroff, a South Carolina voter, said.

While some voters criticized the president’s COVID-19 response, others said COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate and no one can be 100 percent protected, not even the President of the United States.

“Sooner or later, it’s almost like any of us are going to get it sooner or later no matter how protected we are,” Joe Leeson, a South Carolina voter, said.

For the most part, most people told WIS that this hasn’t changed their vote or when they plan to cast it.

“First thing Monday morning as soon as I can get in line, I will be out voting,” Oveta Glover, a South Carolina voter, said.

However, it does cause a great deal of uncertainty so close to the election.

“How far out is this going to go? Hopefully, they don’t switch up the elections. It is what it is, but I think we need to stand by our process,” Cindy Williams, a South Carolina voter, said.

UofSC political science professor Todd Shaw said there are procedures in place if President Trump is no longer able to perform his duties.

“There are procedures that stand, that the election is highly unlikely there will be any delay, the election will proceed on November the 3rd,” Shaw said.

There are voters on both sides telling WIS that they are ready to cast their ballot when the polls open.

“I like to think he’s going to come out stronger than ever after this and I think that’s going to give a lot of people courage that we don’t live in a world of fear, we shouldn’t,” Erik Corcoran, a South Carolina voter, said.

Shaw said he thinks the most important thing for voters over the next few weeks is that the Trump administration is transparent with voters about where his health stands. The importance of transparency is something many voters stressed as well.

“I think what it’s going to do is bring awareness that it can happen to anybody. COVID has no name, no number, and anyone can contract it,” Glover said.

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