Oct 2, 2020 - Health

Age, obesity put Trump at high risk for severe coronavirus infection

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is at a high risk for a severe coronavirus infection.

The big picture: The White House physician said that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are "well at this time," but Trump carries multiple risk factors that could lead to serious symptoms over the next few days.

The state of play: People older than 65 are at a particularly high risk for serious infection or death. Trump is 74.

  • Obesity is at the top of the CDC's list of underlying conditions that seem to make coronavirus infections worse. Trump’s body mass index, as recorded in his last two annual physicals, put him just over the line into obesity.
  • The CDC notes that heart disease and high blood pressure may also contribute to severe coronavirus symptoms.
  • While Trump has never been diagnosed with serious heart disease, his doctors have acknowledged that his poor diet and lack of exercise create a risk of heart problems. He takes medication to lower his cholesterol.

Flashback: Earlier this year, Trump took a course of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven drug he believed would prevent coronavirus infection.

  • Clinical studies have, on balance, indicated that the drug most likely does not work, and some research has suggested that it carries a risk of heart damage.

What’s next: Trump is experiencing mild, coldlike symptoms, The New York Times reports.

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