Following US President Donald Trump and First Lady Malania Trump testing positive for the coronavirus, the US presidential election has been turned on its head.
Trump tested positive 32 days before the election. Given his age, 74, he is in a high-risk category for complications from the disease, reports the BBC.
At the very least, he will have to quarantine while he is treated, bringing at least his side in the US presidential contest to be altered.
The US president's rigorous campaign schedule - which included visits to Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina in just the past week - is on indefinite hold.
Trump will certainly have surrogates on the trail, but given that he has relied heavily on his family and senior administration and campaign officials for such tasks in the past, and many of them may have to quarantine because of their own exposure to the virus, that operation will be disrupted as well.
Even the next presidential debate, a town hall format with audience questions scheduled for October 15 in Miami, Florida, is in doubt.
The event can be conducted via video-conference, but that will largely depend on the president's health at the time.
There is also no serious talk of altering the election schedule, which would require an act of Congress passed by both the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-held Senate.
Early voting has already begun in some of the US states.
Despite the turmoil caused by the coronavirus this year in the US - the pandemic and resulting economic disruption, the nationwide demonstrations against institutional racism and police brutality following George Floyd's death and sometimes violent unrest in several major US cities, the countless smaller crises and controversies that seem like a daily occurrence during the Trump years - this presidential race has been remarkably stable.
Democrat Joe Biden has held a statistically significant lead over the president for months in national polls, with a smaller but still noteworthy advantage in key swing states. For Trump, time was running out to change this dynamic, even before this week's dramatic news.
The public has consistently given the US president low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, so anything that puts the focus on the disease is potentially damaging for his re-election prospects.
Complicating matters for the president will be that many Americans might recall what many would describe as the president's sometimes cavalier attitude toward Covid-19.
At the presidential debate on Tuesday, Trump belittled Biden for frequently wearing masks and not having campaign rallies that matched his own in size.
"I don't wear a mask like him," Trump said.
"Every time you see him, he's got a mask."
While the president has, at times, stressed the importance of social distancing and taking the virus seriously, he has also trafficked in questionable science; said the virus would disappear "like magic"; and attacked state officials who have imposed more aggressive mitigation measures and been slower to reopen businesses and schools than he would like.
Donald Trump's coronavirus infection will cast all of these past comments into sharp relief - once again raising questions about whether he took the pandemic seriously enough both on a national policy level and within the White House itself, where the president's health and safety must, for the nation's sake, be of paramount concern.
During times of national turmoil, the American public tends to rally in support of the president. While Trump and his administration will face hard questions about the virus, he and his wife will also be the recipients of national sympathy and prayers for the health ordeal that confronts them.
More than 200,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 at this point - and grieving families and friends may not appreciate any form of victim-blaming.
The Biden campaign will face a challenge on how to respond. For months the Democratic nominee has kept a lower profile in order to limit his risk of exposure - and has been mocked by Republicans.