Story at a glance

  • The White House confirmed Friday the president is experiencing mild symptoms.
  • The announcement has raised many questions about what the diagnosis could mean for Trump, who is at a high risk for a severe infection due to his age and weight.
  • At age 74, Trump is five times more likely to require hospitalization and 90 times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications than someone between the age of 18 and 29, according to the CDC.

In a tweet posted just before 1 a.m. Friday, President Trump announced to the world that he and his wife, Melania, both tested positive for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 7.2 million people in the U.S. and left more than 207,000 dead. 


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“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER,” the president wrote

The Trumps' positive test results came after news broke Thursday that White House adviser Hope Hicks, who traveled with the president aboard Air Force One several times this week, tested positive for COVID-19. 

First lady Melania Trump wrote hours after the announcement that she and the president are “feeling good” while the White House physician released a letter saying the couple was “well at this time.”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed Friday the president is in fact experiencing mild symptoms. 

The announcement has raised many questions about what the diagnosis could mean for Trump, who is at a high risk for a severe infection due to his age and weight. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. Severe illness means the person may require hospitalization, intensive care or a ventilator to help them breathe. 

“People in their 60s and 70s are, in general, at higher risk for several illnesses than people in their 50s,” the CDC says. 

At age 74, Trump is five times more likely to require hospitalization and 90 times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications than someone between the age of 18 and 29, according to the CDC. Eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the U.S. have been among adults aged 65 and older. 


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Trump is also clinically obese. 

The White House in June announced the president weighed 244 pounds at 6 feet 3 inches tall, giving him a body mass index (BMI) of just over 30. Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher. 

Obesity is on the CDC’s list of underlying conditions that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and may triple the risk of hospitalization. 

Older men also appear to be up to twice as likely to die from COVID-19 complications compared to women of the same age because they produce a weaker immune response, according to a study published in Nature

Overall, however, the odds are on the president’s side as most people who contract the coronavirus recover after experiencing only minimal symptoms. 


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Published on Oct 02, 2020