Trump’s Campaign Has Had to Adjust to His Changing View of the Coronavirus

“While Americans can see that President Trump has been leading the whole-of-America coronavirus response, his campaign has been constantly evaluating the entire situation,” said Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman. Now that it is working remotely, he added, the campaign has “pivoted to a virtual, digital approach, since we have vastly better data and a superior digital connection to voters than any other campaign.”

For now, Mr. Trump has been pleased with his regular White House briefing room appearances discussing the coronavirus, officials said, and views them as something of a rally replacement in a time of crisis. On Tuesday, he spoke for more than 90 minutes, about the length of an average Trump rally.

But the campaign is now facing an uncertain future.

A campaign aide who is related to Mick Mulvaney, the former acting White House chief of staff, fell ill last weekend after spending time at Mar-a-Lago, where the campaign held a fund-raising event. After showing symptoms, the aide was tested for the coronavirus, fearing she may have been exposed to a Brazilian official who tested positive for the virus just days after participating in meetings with Trump officials in Florida.

That has created a sense of concern and unease among campaign officials. It also raises questions about when the campaign will be able to start fund-raising in earnest again, and under what circumstances.

Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor who has been involved with Trump fund-raising efforts, said the president’s team has had the advantage of being well ahead in fund-raising as the Democratic race dragged into March.

Still, he said, that landscape has most likely changed significantly for the foreseeable future.

“It may not be evident today, but campaign fund-raising is certain to take a hit like every other sector of the economy,” Mr. Eberhart said. “There is too much uncertainty for large and small donors alike.”

Campaign officials said that they were still doing traditional small-donor fund-raising online, and that they stood to benefit from having built a digital-focused campaign. It recently started a “grass-roots app.”

A spokesman said it had seamlessly shifted events, like a planned “National Week of Action,” to a virtual setting.

An open question is what happens with the national party conventions for both Democrats and Republicans, a question that will remain for several weeks as the spread of the virus continues and as officials seek to contain it.

In the meantime, the legal counsel for the Republican National Committee sent information to state parties about contingency plans for selecting state delegates before the convention, given how many events are being postponed.

Some Republican strategists said they saw an upside to the forced timeout from the campaign’s set-piece rallies — they expected bigger crowds than ever whenever Mr. Trump resumes campaigning.

“I’ve long thought that they ran the risk of getting us all rallied out,” said Karl Rove, the former chief strategist to President George W. Bush, who is in frequent contact with the Trump campaign. A break from rallies, he said, could be a good thing for the Trump campaign. “Ironically, this will create a pent-up demand.”

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