(United States) any political event orchestrated (or apparently orchestrated) in the month before an election, in the hopes of affecting the outcome.
“even the much-vaunted October surprise might fail to move the race in one direction or another”
It was still 1st of October here on the West Coast, when Trump tweeted that he and wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19. They may have gotten it from aide Hope Hicks, who came down with mild symptoms on Wednesday and then tested positive.
Trump has to cancel his campaign rallies for now, and the two remaining presidential debates will probably be cancelled as well.
And if Trump gets sick? Under the 25th Amendment, a medically incapacitated president has the option of temporarily transferring power to the vice president and can reclaim his authority whenever he deems himself fit for duty.
A little history from the New York Times:
Four presidents have died in office of natural causes: William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt, while Wilson endured a debilitating stroke and Dwight D. Eisenhower had a heart attack in his first term and a stroke in his second.
Four others were assassinated while in office: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy.