Port Wings, 14 Oct 2020:
The President of America Donald Trump after six months of refusing to follow his own administration’s public health advice to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, and just two days after mocking his opponent Joe Biden for routinely doing so, tested positive of the very virus.
Fox News, the president’s de facto campaign arm, had snapped into action by illustrating initial reports on the breaking news with one of the rare images of Trump wearing a mask — taken during a carefully staged photo-op at Walter Reed hospital in July. While Trump’s aides had urged him to wear a mask in public that day to set an example for his followers, he was careful to undermine the guidance from health experts first, by suggesting that masks were appropriate only at times, like, “when you’re in a hospital.
It is not clear how and when President Trump, who is 74 and has attended several events in recent days without wearing a mask, caught the virus. Covid-19 may manifest a variety of symptoms between two to 14 days after exposure. These include coughing, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, chills, fever, difficulty breathing and the loss of the sense of smell or taste.
In severe cases, people with covid-19 may have difficulty breathing, high fever or chest pain. The virus mainly attacks the lungs but can also harm the heart, brain, kidney and other organs. More than 200,000 Americans have died of the disease.
The most important risk factor for a severe outcome — greater even than having other health problems — is age. The CDC tracks mortality rates by decade — for example, ages 65 to 74, or ages 75 to 84 — and says the risk increases with each additional year within those cohorts.
Trump’s risks are greater because of his gender and weight. Although men and women catch the virus at similar rates, men disproportionately die from the disease. As of June, men represented 57 percent of U.S. deaths.
The severity of the president’s illness may also be dictated by whether he inhaled a large amount of virus deep into his lungs. His failure to wear a mask regularly may have left himself vulnerable to receiving a heavy dose of the virus, which is correlated with worse outcomes.
Trump also takes a statin for high cholesterol and has slightly elevated blood pressure. Hypertension is not considered as great a risk factor as obesity by the CDC, which says people with that condition “might” be at higher risk.
Mark McClellan, FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration, said the treatments and care for covid-19 have improved sharply in the last six months. “We are seeing much better outcomes in severely ill people,” he said.
Conley, the White House physician, said that Trump’s infection was confirmed by a PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, test, which is considered the most accurate gauge of whether virus is present.
Starting in April, the White House began requiring the president’s visitors to take a rapid-turnaround test, using a machine known as Abbott ID NOW. The machine analyzes nasal swabs, and delivers results in five to 13 minutes, but researchers have found that it can miss infections.
In July, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was being tested for the coronavirus “multiple times a day,” referring to him as “the most tested man in America.”
Trump quickly contradicted that, telling reporters he was taking tests every two to three days, but did not recall ever having had more than one in a single day.
Many scientists and public health experts said the president’s positive test offered a clear demonstration that avoiding infection depends on taking basic preventive measures — mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.
The candidates did not shake hands, and they stood at podiums that were separated by more than six feet. Although Biden was distanced from Trump onstage, both were unmasked. Infectivity is high a few days before symptoms develop, and it is possible Trump was infectious on Tuesday, though that is not certain.
Proper ventilation in the debate hall may have helped reduce the risk of any possible viral exposure. Masks were required for the audience, though members of Trump’s family who attended were seen refusing to wear them.
Contact tracing has successfully curbed Ebola and smallpox outbreaks but has been a challenge in the coronavirus pandemic because of the scope of the outbreak.