An analysis of the publication The Drive shows how the president’s infection raises questions about how continuity of government in the United States is designed and ensured. US presidents have been unable to govern for shorter or longer periods, but the nature of COVID-19 infection, the isolation required, and the fact that the virus could spread to more people in the United States, it makes the present situation really dangerous.

One problem is controlling the US nuclear arsenal. The president is always accompanied by a US military official who carries a briefcase with a command interface used to order the launch of nuclear weapons and that connects the leader of the American state with the National Command Authority. The fact that the health of those who are infected with the virus can also translate into reduced cognitive abilities for certain periods raises additional issues. Although the issue of rapid action on nuclear weapons seems rather an extreme example of a situation where a positive COVID-19 president could have difficulties, the publication’s analysis shows that other comparatively minor issues, but still crucial to the continuity of government, are exarcerbated by the nature of COVID-19 infection.

For example, an important part of ensuring the continuity of government is the ability of the security forces to quickly shelter the president in a safe place in the event of a crisis. HMX-1, the squadron that organizes any presidential flight, was at the base of Anacostia, just a few kilometers away from the White House, ready at any time to take over the president and transport him to other locations where he can to perform duties such as Raven Rock, Camp David, Mount Weather and others. In this particular case, it would be necessary for the president, who carries an extremely contagious disease, to fly in a closed aircraft. It should act from facilities that are by their nature closed to prevent the pandemic from incapacitating the entire unit, which would be an extreme weakness in the American security apparatus. Personnel who have to operate in these situations would be exposed to the fatal virus.

Moreover, even in less extreme situations, similar problems arise. The president could, for example, command the Situation Room (the center where crisis situations are usually handled), a place where the main individuals at the top of the American security apparatus are often crammed. Similarly, during an event in which the White House would need to raise its security level, the president, his cabinet, and his family would normally have to go down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, a bunker buried under the White House. . In this case, Donald Trump would live in a tight, completely closed environment, and top U.S. leaders would have to work shoulder to shoulder, a nightmare scenario during a pandemic. What is important to understand, the analysis shows, is that the system is not flexible – these facilities and the pre-established way of doing things in crisis situations are an important point of the credibility of the US national security system.