President's campaign path altered by COVID-19 diagnosis

The leader of the world's most powerful country is now in isolation.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said President Donald Trump has "mild symptoms" after he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

The president will not travel to Wisconsin as originally planned for a pair of Saturday, Oct. 3 rallies. 

"I think he and I are both not going to hide in the hole and wait for this thing to pass over. Life goes on and his responsibilities certainly go on," Sonny Perdue, U.S. agriculture secretary.

Perdue visited Waukesha and said the president will continue to communicate: "I don't think this is going to affect his tweeting."

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The president has continued to hold campaign rallies throughout the pandemic, including in Wisconsin. Thousands of people gathered, many without face masks. 

Was it a mistake to have those large rallies?

"You can always second guess anything, frankly," Perdue said. "We've had people infected who have been locked down. This is an interesting virus, we're learning more about it every day, so no, I think the people want to see the president and want to be around the president."

President Donald Trump and Hope Hicks

President Donald Trump and Hope Hicks

President Trump campaigned in Minnesota on Wednesday. With him was White House aide Hope Hicks, who also tested positive for COVID-19.

"I spend a lot of time with Hope and so does the first lady. She's tremendous. I was a little surprised," President Trump said on Fox News.

The president fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday and then revealed early Friday morning that he and the first lady tested positive and will be in isolation -- keeping them off the in-person campaign trail.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump

Even with the president's campaign stops on hold, including in Wisconsin, the impact on swaying voters leading up to the November may be minimal. 

"There are relatively few people who have to be swayed," said UW-Milwaukee Political Science Professor Kathleen Dolan. "The utility of events like that is not really to reach people who need to make a decision about for whom they are going to vote, but instead the focus is going to be on mobilizing people, getting them excited to turn out to vote."

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A September Marquette University Law School poll found that 3% of Wisconsin voters remain undecided.

The president's COVID-19 test results now bring the virus back to the election's central story. Fifty-six percent polled by Marquette disapproved of the president's handling of the pandemic.

Doctors hope president's positive COVID-19 result raises awareness

Local doctors hope President Trump's positive coronavirus result will bring even more awareness about the seriousness of COVID-19. 

Pres. Trump's Wisconsin stops off, GOP moves ahead attacking masks

President Donald Trump on Friday canceled his two weekend campaign rallies in Wisconsin after testing positive for COVID-19.

How long could I be contagious before a positive COVID-19 test?

Studies have shown that people may be contagious for about two days before developing COVID-19 symptoms.