The Spectator

What happens when a US president dies?

What happens when a US president dies?
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Vice squad

Donald Trump catching Covid-19 has concentrated minds on what happens if a US president dies in office. Normally, the vice-president will take over — which is why it matters who is on the ballot. In 1972, however, Americans had no idea who would end up president by the end of what should have been Richard Nixon’s second term. Nixon’s vice-president was Spiro Agnew, but he was forced to resign after pleading ‘no contest’ to charges of tax evasion. Nixon then appointed House leader Gerald Ford as vice-president. Ford became president when Nixon himself resigned before he was impeached over the Watergate scandal in August 1974. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election and so was never elected by the American people in a national election.

Locked up

How well are local lockdowns working?

— Leicester was put into lockdown in early July. Since then, its cumulative number of recorded infections has grown by 88%

— In the wider East Midlands, cases have grown by 59%

— Manchester’s ten boroughs were put into lockdown in late July. In Bolton cumulative cases are up 150%; in Oldham up 116%; in Bury up 106%; and in Wigan up 60%

— In the wider north-west they are up 93%

Killer competition

The global death toll for Covid reached one million. How does that compare with other causes of death (for 2017)?

Heart disease 9.4m

Stroke 5.8m

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 3m

Lower respiratory infection 3m

Dementia 2m

Lung cancer 1.7m

Diabetes 1.6m

Road injury 1.4m

Diarrhoea 1.4m

Tuberculosis 1.3m

Source: World Health Organisation

Business models

Which countries are the best for business and trade? Score out of 100:

Singapore 89.4

Hong Kong 89.1

New Zealand 84.1

Australia 82.6

Switzerland 82

Ireland 80.9

UK 79.3

Denmark 78.3

Canada 78.2

Estonia 77.7

Source: Index of Economic Freedom