3 Strikes Working Against Trump As He Fights COVID-19: Obese 74-Year-Old Male
Although many COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, President Donald Trump‘s late-night diagnosis makes him fall into the category of people at higher risk of developing symptoms and dying from the virus.
Trump announced on Twitter last night that both he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and were beginning their quarantine. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday that the president is experiencing “mild.” Melania said on Twitter that she also has “mild symptoms” but is “overall feeling good.”
However, as an obese 74-year-old male, Trump has three strikes against him.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hospitalization rate for people age 65-74 is five times higher than that of 18-29 year olds, and the comparative death rate is 90 times higher.
Research has also indicated that obese COVID-19 patients often experience aggravated symptoms, likely due to the virus worsening existing breathing difficulties. Another theory, according to the Los Angeles Times, is that obesity predisposes the patient’s immune system to overreact to the virus, causing a “cytokine storm” that damages tissue.
According to the CDC, “Having obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above, increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
A June report from Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president is 6’3″ and 244 pounds, making his BMI 30.5.
The last factor working against Trump is his gender.
A study published by the CDC in July found that COVID-19 deaths in men outnumbered women in 41 out of 47 countries that it looked at. The report added that the proportion of people with confirmed cases who die is twice as high for men as for women.
Previous experiments with mice in other coronaviruses show that estrogen may help protect women from the worst symptoms of COVID-19. The gap may also be attributed to the fact that men are more likely to be smokers, which heightens the risk of developing symptoms.