After President Trump announced early today that he had tested positive for coronavirus, there were more questions than answers about his condition.
Americans wondered how severe his illness was likely to become.
The fact is, Trump has three factors stacked against him: His age, weight, and sex.
So far, reports say the President is suffering only mild coldlike symptoms. He has not been hospitalized. No information has been released about what treatments he is receiving.[i]
Early in the pandemic, Trump said that he was taking the drug hydroxychloroquine. Studies have found it ineffective and to cause dangerous heart side effects.
In June, the FDA revoked approval of the drug to treat COVID-19. The White House said that Trump stopped taking hydroxychloroquine after two weeks.[ii]
Here are the factors working against President Trump in his fight against the virus…and some positives.
Trump’s 3 Major Coronavirus Risk Factors
- He’s 74. Age is the number-one risk factor for severe COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people aged 65 to 74 have a five times higher risk of hospital admission for coronavirus compared with young adults. They have a 90% higher risk of death.[iii] For people aged 75-84, the risk of needing hospital care for coronavirus jumps to eight times higher. People in this age group have 220 times the death risk of a young adult. Trump turns 75 next year on June 14.
- He’s obese. President Trump is 6-foot-3 and weighs 244 pounds, according to information released by the White House. This gives him a body-mass index of 30.5, which is on the low end of obesity. (He’s got plenty of company: 42.4% of American adults are obese.)[iv] [v] One study found that people with a BMI of 30-35 have double the chances of needing intensive care treatment for coronavirus. Risk of death increases by 40%.[vi]
- He’s a male. Although men and women are equally likely to contract coronavirus, men are hit harder by it. Some studies have found that men are twice as likely as women to die of the disease.[vii] One global data tracker shows that for every 10 women admitted to intensive care for COVID-19, there are 18 men requiring such treatment.[viii]
A 10% Death Rate
Dr. Michael Baker is a professor with the department of global health at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He said: “If you don’t know anything about Donald Trump, just knowing that he’s a male, over 70, and appears to be overweight, right away you say he’s in a high-risk group.”[ix]
On the positive side, Trump doesn’t seem to have other health conditions that would increase his risk. He’s not a smoker. He apparently doesn’t have diabetes. He doesn’t have lung issues.
President Trump is notorious for liking fast food and shunning exercise. But he is active. He golfs and walks regularly.
The bottom line?
CDC data show that among COVID-19 patients in their 70s who were in good health at the time of their infection, the death rate is 10%.
And what about Melania?
Trump announced that the First Lady, too, has tested positive.
Melania is only 50 years old. She has a healthier weight and is female. So she has far less risk of becoming seriously ill than her husband.
The good news for President Trump is that he will get the best medical care in the world. And even though he is considered at high risk, the chances are that he will be fine.
Said Dr. Baker: “Even people who have a number of risk factors, on average, do well. Only a minority have illness and severe consequences.”
Editor’s Note: Discover the simple ancient health practice that researchers believe may offer a “ray of hope” in the fight against COVID-19. It takes just minutes a day.