President Donald Trump's age and weight put him at "considerable risk" of coronavirus-related complications, Good Morning Britain contributor Dr Hilary Jones said on Friday. Trump, who announced on Twitter that he and his wife Melania were tested positive for Covid-19, had "220 times" more chances of succumbing to the highly-infectious disease compared to much younger patients, Jones noted.
Late Thursday, 74-year-old Trump said his adviser Hope Hicks was tested positive for coronavirus and that he and Melania were awaiting their results. A couple of hours later, the president tweeted that his and his wife's results came back positive and the two will remain in quarantine.
While Trump's physician said the couple were doing well, Jones weighed in on the president's hospitalisation risk. He said Trump was in the "vulnerable category" for the coronavirus.
"These figures come from the U.S.'s Centre for Disease Control and Infection. Compared to an 18 to 29-year-old, the risk of hospitalisation is five times at Donald Trump's age and the risk of dying in 90 times," Jones said. "Actually, he's 74, if you look at 75 to 84-year-old age group, the risk of hospitalisation becomes eight times and the risk of dying 220 times higher than someone aged 18 to 29."
Overweight Another Risk Factor
Jones pointed out that Trump was overweight, which was another risk factor in coronavirus-related complications. His age and weight were against him putting the president at considerable risk, the British general practitioner said. He also lamented over Trump's refusal to follow basic guidelines on social distancing and wearing a mask at public places. During the initial months of the pandemic, Trump repeatedly maintained that wearing masks did not keep the virus at bay.
"I think medics looking on will say it was almost inevitable, the way we saw him not socially distancing, refusing to wear a mask at big conventions, how many people at those conventions died of coronavirus? The U.S. has got the biggest death rate anywhere in the world, Jones said. "We've seen leaders of the free world come down with Covid-19 themselves, not wearing masks, not social distancing, shaking hands, you know. Completely doing the opposite of what their medical advisors are telling their constituents to do."
The development came against the backdrop of presidential debates ahead of the Nov. 3 election. It remained unknown how long Trump will remain under quarantine. Late March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for Covid-19 and while his initial symptoms were mild, he was moved to a London hospital just a week after his diagnosis due to persistent symptoms of the virus. He was shifted to intensive care on April 6 after his health deteriorated and remained there till April 9.
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis triggered uncertainty on the second presidential debate slated to take place on Oct. 15. Unless Trump tested negative within the next seven days, it was unlikely that the debate would go ahead as per the schedule.