Pelosi says authorities continuity "at all times exists" after Trump assessments optimistic for Covid-19


House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi assured on Friday that government continuity will remain after President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.

80-year-old Pelosi, who will be the second to take over the presidency, said on MSNBC that the White House had not yet contacted her about succession.

But she added, "That continuity of government is always there."

Trump, 74, announced on Twitter after midnight that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19. The president is suffering from "mild symptoms" of the virus, NBC News reported, citing a White House official.

Vice President Mike Pence, who comes first, took a negative test Friday morning, his spokesman said.

When asked by MSNBC if the White House had contacted them about government continuity, Pelosi, D-Calif, said, "No they haven't."

"But that's a continuation, not with the White House, but with the military, quite frankly, in relation to – some government officials," she said.

"Let's all just pray for the president's health – thank goodness the vice president tested negative and so did the second lady," added Pelosi. "So again, that continuity of government is always there."

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request to comment on Pelosi's remarks.

When asked about the president's diagnosis, Pelosi expressed her condolences – but also suggested that Trump's stance on the virus could be illuminating.

"It is with great sadness that we have all received this news. I always pray for the President and his family that they are safe," said Pelosi. "It's tragic, it's very sad. But it's also something that went back into the crowd, exposed and everything else, a kind of brazen invitation for something like this to happen."

Pelosi appeared to be referring to Trump's decision to resume his signature campaigns ahead of the November 3 presidential election. The events regularly gather large numbers of Trump supporters, many of whom do not wear masks or other protective gear.

Pelosi said that while she is sad to hear of the president's diagnosis, she is "hopeful that it will be a transition to a more sensible approach to what this virus is about".

According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, more than 7.2 million people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus and more than 207,000 people have died.


Steven Gregory