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US elections 2020

Five things to know if Trump or Biden falls seriously ill

How the US president's positive coronavirus test might affect the election

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi before delivering the State of the Union address in February 2019, as Vice President Mike Pence looks on. Pence and Pelosi are second and third in the line of succession if the president is incapacitated.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, roughly a month before the Republican incumbent's election day showdown with Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

American politicians and world leaders alike have wished Trump and his infected wife, Melania, a speedy recovery. But the diagnosis brings to the fore the issue of what happens to the election if a major-party candidate falls seriously ill or even dies.

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