PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — President Donald Trump has a number of factors that put him at a higher risk of more severe coronavirus symptoms.
One of these is his age: Pres. Trump is 74 years old.
“That does put him at a higher risk for complications related to COVID. So it’s going to be a higher risk of a more severe illness, it’s going to be a higher risk of also death, unfortunately,” says Dr. David A. Nace, chief medical officer at UPMC Senior Communities. “And certainly increases it in comparison to his wife, who is in her 50s.”
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus, the president tweeted early Friday morning.
While Dr. Nace is not involved in the president’s care, he points out another factor that puts him at an increased risk.
“The one thing we do know that he shared is obviously the fact that he is overweight and obesity increases the risk of bad outcomes,” Dr. Nace said.
Dr. Nace says the testing was likely expedited.
“It’s most likely he had a rapid antigen test that was done, and that was then subsequently followed up and confirmed with a PCR test because it’s the White House, it is the president. It’s likely that can be turned around relatively quickly,” the doctor said.
Now the president must quarantine and stay separate from others. And he’ll be monitored.
“Frequently look at the symptoms, the temperature, watching the oxygenation,” Dr. Nace said.
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But it’s too early to say how the president will do. Anyone who was within six feet of the president for longer than 15 minutes without a mask will need to be tested. Democratic nominee Joe Biden has tested negative.
“Probably they’re going to be retesting him for the 14-day window from the exposure,” Dr. Nace says. “And they will be monitoring him on a regular basis.”
The most worrisome factor to Dr. Nace is the president not using a mask.
“It certainly increases his risk. It’s what I worry about. Because he hasn’t had that mask, he’s likely come in contact with a much higher amount of virus than he could have had he been wearing a mask. It reduces the severity of illness if you do get infected,” Dr. Nace said.