World Events

There has been no transfer of power, White House says

The pilot of Marine One wears a face mask as President Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 2 in Washington, DC. Alex Brandon/AP

In the event the President travels aboard Marine One while he has coronavirus, there are ways to minimize exposure to the virus of the other key staff aboard. 

The front cabin of Marine One, former US Secret Service agent and CNN contributor Jonathan Wackrow said, can be closed, which would include the pilot and crew chief. The crew can also operate on supplemental air, Wackrow said.

USSS agents traveling with the President would have to wear N95 medical-grade masks and other personal protective equipment to prevent inhalation. 

It’s always safer for a president to travel via helicopter than in a motorcade for a variety of reasons, Wackrow said, minimizing the risk of a crash with an errant vehicle or a coordinated attack.  

Separately, the medical unit has “advanced medical capabilities” at the White House and is prepared for a variety of medical care situations.

But, Wackrow said, their capabilities are typically predicated upon trauma situations, not advanced acute care. While it’s possible to perform something like thoracic surgery in the event of a bullet wound, there are certainly situations where a President would need to be transported to another facility for medical care for a more focused diagnosis – for just one example, a chest X-ray.


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