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President Trump has some things going against him in his fight against COVID-19, including his age and weight.
President Trump says he will be leaving the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center tonight at 6:30 and adds, via Tweet: “Feeling really good!” The president also tweeted: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
Trump reportedly has been feeling restless since being admitted to Walter Reed Hospital Friday, and yesterday his motorcade drove around the hospital as the president waved to well-wishers.
First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but she has not had to be hospitalized. The stock markets in the United States and Europe have been watching closely, plummeting when Trump was admitted to Walter Reed, and then rallying after his statement that he plans to leave soon.
Trump will be returning to a White House somewhat in disarray, as some members of his inner circle have also tested positive for COVID-19, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany who said that she tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. Two of McEnany's deputies have also tested positive for COVID-19 and there about a dozen people in the White House who tested positive.
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, is a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board. Kavanagh tells ICT®: “This is a testament to how easily this virus can spread. President Trump was in a testing bubble and relied at his rallies on social distancing. However, these rallies would be defined as a high-risk activity, since even outdoors—and not all were—loud vocalizations can aerosolized the virus. In an aerosolized form, the virus can travel much farther than 6 feet, live for up to 16 hours and defeat the protections afforded by a cotton mask. If one does not wear a mask, then the activity is at an even higher risk.”
COVID-19 affects different people differently. There have been deaths: over 209,000 in the United States and over 1 million in the world. But many people get only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all: These are the by-now infamous asymptomatic carriers.
If in fact, Trump recovers from COVID-19, he does so despite having some physiological markers that would make him vulnerable to the disease.
His weight, for instance. At his last physical Trump, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighed in at 244 pounds. That makes him mildly obese. Obesity triples the risk of hospitalization, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
His age. Trump is 74 and people in the 65 to 74 age range are 5 times more at risk for being hospitalized, according to the CDC. In addition, they are 90 times more at risk of dying.
His sex. Men are more likely to die or suffer severe illness from COVID-19 than women.