As November draws closer and President Donald Trump tries to win a second term in office, the White House is fearful the growing outbreak of coronavirus across the globe could stifle the U.S. economy and cost Trump reelection, according to a report from Politico:

“The Trump administration is bracing for a possible coronavirus outbreak in the United States that could sicken thousands — straining the government’s public health response and threatening an economic slowdown in the heat of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

“That stark realization has taken hold in high-level White House meetings, during which some administration officials have voiced concerns the coronavirus is already spreading undetected within U.S. borders, two officials told POLITICO.”

Trump was reportedly infuriated with senior administration officials who approved 14 Americans with the virus to be transported from a Japanese cruise ship back to the United States. The president had wanted the infected Americans to remain quarantined overseas, CNN notes:

“The President was first told that Americans who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where the coronavirus has spread, would be flown back to the US on two planes but that patients with the infection or with symptoms would stay in Japan, where the ship is anchored, the newspaper reported.

“However, the State Department and a US health official decided to bring back the infected Americans on the planes and place them in isolation without telling the President.”

The larger fear inside the administration is that an full-blown coronavirus outbreak in the United States could negatively impact the American economy, which is one of the few bright spots for Trump as he tries to convince voters to return him for another term in office despite his  unpopularity:

“The White House remains worried about growing economic risks, with Chinese production plunging in recent weeks and U.S. companies like Apple and Walmart with significant investments in the country reporting they’re taking financial hits. Senior officials fear that a sustained outbreak could slow global markets and upend a strong U.S. economy that has been central to Trump’s political pitch.”

Despite the trepidation within senior levels of the White House, the president has tried to assure people that warmer weather will help defeat the spread of coronavirus, though there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support such a claim.

A potential coronavirus in the U.S. is also a reminder that Trump slammed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for his response to the 2014-2016 Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, suggesting that karma may play a bigger role in the 2020 race than we ever imagined possible.

Featured Image Via the BBC