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With President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump testing positive for COVID-19, students who support the president said today that it likely would not cut into his support, but he might need to adjust his approach to campaigning and rallies.
“I think it might possibly delay presidential debates or maybe even the election itself,” senior Jaeden Mohring said. “But besides that, I think if he recovers from it, then it will give him more of a reason to open the country back up. I imagine him saying, `Did we really close this country up because of this?’ ”
Senior John Scairretti predicted that the president would not lose much support in the presidential race.
“I believe that this might affect his chances of swaying some undecided voters,” Scairretti said. “However, Donald Trump not wearing a mask has not upset a majority of his supporters for months. I highly doubt that anyone would be upset about it now.”
Freshman Tyler Shields said he does not believe the virus will affect Trump’s chances of winning.
“If anything, it will help him understand what kind of impact the coronavirus has on people, and help him gain supporters by demonstrating that he is now more knowledgeable about the virus,” Shields said.
He said Trump might view the virus as a more serious issue now. But Shields said he was confident that Trump would not lose any votes, since the majority of those who do not support him already have criticized his handling of the pandemic.
Freshman Zach Wiatrowski said he believes Trump could have taken more precautions to avoid catching the virus.
“I feel like Trump wasn’t as prepared as he could have been,” Wiatrowski said.
Senior Abdullah Makhoul also said that the way the virus is being handled should change.
“This virus needs to be taken seriously,” Makhoul said. “Big rallies and not wearing a mask significantly increased the President’s chances of getting the virus, and with his old age, I’m concerned for his health.”
Wiatrowski said he believes masks and social distancing are necessary. He said Trump should not put a stop to his rallies, but should wear a mask.
“For the sake of everyone, people need to wear masks,” Wiatrowski said.
Junior Luke Campana agreed that Trump should not stop his rallies, but also suggested a change.
“I don’t think he should stop having them, but maybe slim down the max occupancy,” Campana said.
Junior Liam Boyd said Trump should be wearing a mask to protect himself, but also said he thinks that COVID-19 restrictions are not helping.
“Masks were supposed to help, but now some aren’t even doing their job, so is there even a point anymore? The social distancing was a placeholder to slow the spread, but not many people followed it, and even if you cough it still travels farther than six feet,” Boyd said.
Campana said that Trump being diagnosed with the virus has not changed his own opinions about COVID-19 policies.
“I believe that wearing a mask doesn’t really help at all,” Campana said. “I don’t think it is necessary at all to have hybrid learning and social distancing.”
Scairretti said masks should be a choice.
“I did believe that, with the lack of information we had on the virus, masks and social distancing were necessary at the beginning of the pandemic,” he said. “However, with the information we have about the virus now, it should be our choice if we choose to wear a mask or not.”
Shields, meanwhile, remains wary of the virus, but supportive of Trump.
“I knew the virus was dangerous before, so my views on safety precautions and Trump have remained the same,” he said.
Editors Lena Barakat, Victoria DiCesare, Brooke Scanlon, Alli Schroeder, and Izzy Swanson contributed to this report.