After Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is next in the presidential line of succession — a fact that is particularly notable now that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both had recent close calls with the coronavirus.
If both the President and Vice President were to fall ill, we could face the unwelcome possibility of a President Pelosi.
Tense situation in White House
Multiple reports of coronavirus cases among White House staff are concerning, as both the President and Vice President may have been exposed to the virus.
Vice President Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus last week. That news broke after it had been revealed President Trump’s personal valet had tested positive for coronavirus.
However, both Trump and Pence have since tested negative for coronavirus.
The White House still doesn’t know where Miller’s infection came from, according to a report by CNN.
Without being able to say how Miller or Trump’s valet was infected, it makes for a tense situation in the White House.
In a worst-case scenario, we very well could see President Pelosi. Pelosi would have all the powers of the presidency from day one and that raises serious concerns.
Pelosi could either lead the country through this crisis or take her time to wreak havoc on President Trump’s administration. Pelosi would have the power to fire President Trump’s officials.
It’s been described as a nightmare scenario. Jack Goldsmith, Professor at Harvard Law School, said, “Consistent with the law, she [Pelosi] could issue whatever executive orders she wanted, fire disfavored political appointees, and in general direct the executive branch as she pleased.”
It would not be out of the realm of possibility for Pelosi to choose to wreak havoc on the Trump administration instead of focusing on the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, this scenario is unlikely — but it’s still possible. With new safety precautions and testing protocols, Trump and Pence are safe for the time being. Hopefully, both leaders stay healthy and continue to lead the nation.