President Donald Trump's COVID-19 Risk Factors

While much of his medical history is vague, from what we do know, he has some risk factors that could lead to a severe case.

President Donald Trump's COVID-19 Risk Factors
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Donald Trump’s medical history puts him in some high risk categories for a severe case of COVID-19. 

"The more severe complications and the longer courses are what we're seeing in the higher age category," Dr. Michelle Prickett, Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist at Northwestern Medicine said.

 Prickett is not the president’s doctor. She has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients and weighed in on the risk factors the president might be up against. 

At 74, the president is 5 times more likely to be hospitalized based on CDC numbers. 65-74 year olds are also 90 times more at risk than younger patients of dying from the coronavirus. 

President Trump is also obese....That plus past treatment for high cholesterol puts him at a higher cardiovascular risk for severe Covid-19 symptoms. 

Another risk factor-Trump said in May he took anti-malaria medication that studies show does NOT help against COVID. It can lead to arrhythmias-when the heart can beat too fast, too slowly, or with an irregular beat.

"When you have a preexisting condition and you have an insult that can affect the heart, it leads to a more difficult outcome. And so those patients that come in with preexisting cardiovascular issues have a higher risk than those without," Prickett said.

Doctors say what’s most important in the first few days after somebody tests positive and has COVID symptoms, is how they're coping with it. 

"Are they becoming short of breath? Do they have a fever that's not controlled, though? Are they keeping themselves hydrated? Are they resting enough? All of that's going to be key over the next several days with a patient who is older and has a risk factor in his obesity," Dr. Amesh Adalja at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security told Newsy.

It’s important to remember the majority of COVID-19 patients-about 80 percent— are mild cases. So far, White House officials have said the president and first lady are facing mild, cold-like symptoms.