Trump faces serious risks from COVID-19, says medical expert

WASHINGTON — In his mid-70s and apparently overweight, President Trump faces a COVID-19 mortality risk of between 9 and 10 percent, Dr. Kavita Patel told Yahoo News in an interview on Friday.

Trump’s diagnosis was announced in the early-morning hours on Friday. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Trump is 74 years old and weighs 244 pounds. Both his advanced age and his above-normal weight put him at greater risk of serious COVID-19 illness that could require hospitalization. That possibility is “very real,” said Patel, a physician and medical contributor to Yahoo News.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on September 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
President Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on Wednesday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I really hope the president recovers,” she said. “I hope that none of this comes to fruition.”

It is not yet clear just what Trump’s diagnosis means for the people who have attended his rallies, Tuesday’s presidential debate, a fundraiser in New Jersey or events in the White House.

Patel, who is also a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, believes Trump has potentially exposed “at least dozens of people, if not hundreds of people, that he has been in contact with.”

She described the president’s campaign rallies — “where there are people indoors, traveling from outside places and also not wearing masks” — as potential superspreader events.

As many as 4 out of 5 coronavirus infections come from superspreader events.


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