×    By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Professor William C. Banks Explains Presidential Transfer of Power to WSYR

Posted on Monday 10/5/2020
William C. Banks

President Trump with COVID: What could transpire if his condition worsens?

(WSYR | Oct. 2, 2020) President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple sources. As of Friday, the president only had minor symptoms, but what would happen with the election about a month away if his condition worsens?

The 25th Amendment primarily deals with what would occur if a president passes away, but it also talks about what happens if a president can’t fulfill his duties. 

William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University, says, “If there is a determination that he is unable to fulfill his duties, then he can temporarily or permanently, should the president succumb to the virus, the duties can be passed along to his successor, who in this case would be Vice President Pence.”

America has never had to deal with COVID-19, but the amendment has been used when presidents have gone to the hospital for even minor surgeries. 

“So now, even on a few occasions, say where a president has gone under anesthesia for a minor procedure like a colonoscopy, he has transferred his power to the vice president for the period of time needed to complete the procedure,” Professor Banks said. “With the president hospitalized, he should do the same with Vice President Pence" ...

Watch the segment.