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US Election betting markets reopen - Implications of Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19 and Effects on Betting Markets

Last updated: 06 Oct 2020
Conrad Castleton 06 Oct 2020
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  • Donald Trump tests positive for COVID-19 and is admitted to hospital
  • US Election betting markets were suspended from Friday to Monday night
  • What impact will coronavirus now have on Presidential Election?
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump upon his return from Walter Reed Medical Center on October 5, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump announced in the early hours of Friday morning that he has tested positive for Covid-19, so what effect does this have on betting markets?

Betfair reacted by suspending betting on their US Presidential Election markets throughout Friday after Trump was admitted to hospital, and stayed that way until Monday night.

Trump made a theatrical return to the White House on Monday night to continue his treatment following three nights in hospital.

In a choreographed stunt, the President, who is still contagious, removed his mask on the balcony of the White House, while posing for pictures.

He also - unsurprisingly - took to Twitter, telling his followers: "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life."

At time of writing, over 210,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Although betting is now open again, with Joe Biden 1.61 at time of writing on Betfair (Trump 2.72), oddsmakers still have many key questions to consider when weighing up the odds:

  1. First, with Trump testing positive, has he passed that on to Mike Pence? The VP, like the President, has spent time with counselor Hope Hicks, who tested positive on Thursday.
  2. Could the President have passed it to Election rival Joe Biden at this week's Presidential Debate? Possibly not as the debate was several days ago, but it cannot be ruled out.
  3. Will Trump testing positive lead to his followers taking the pandemic more seriously? It should do - however it likely depends on how serious the next two weeks are for the President. If he is largely asymptomatic, he will likely once again be dismissive of COVID-19.
  4. Will Trump's positive test lead to the second - and possibly third - scheduled debate being scrapped?

A key question at the weekend was this: Given how reckless Trump has been in his handling of the pandemic, who else in the administration will test positive for COVID-19?

The final answer remains to be seen, although several of Mr Trump's staff have also tested positive for the virus in recent days.

Last Friday, an expert had told CNN that speaker Nancy Pelosi should be in isolation right now in case both Trump and Pence become sick...

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