Are President Trump’s Coronavirus Risks Life Threatening?
Even if Presidents Trump’s coronavirus risks are not life threatening, he is paying a big price for not abiding by the safety advice of health experts. His example shows us that this novel coronavirus is still a pandemic, can infect us, and cause us harm. Here’s what you need to know… and do.Check out my Covid Immunity Course
No one can currently know if President Trump’s coronavirus risks may be life threatening, but there are reasons for concern.
He will have the best care that doctors can deliver. The question is — is that enough?
Certainly, this time Trump will heed the advice of the medical experts, because he knows his life depends on it. The risk of death focuses the mind on essentials, and dispenses with vanities and hyperbole.
He could have avoided this risk to his health, perhaps his life, had he listened to the best advice on how to avoid getting infected in the first place. Apparently, he washed his hands frequently, but as we all know, he consistently declined to wear a face mask; in fact, he often disparaged doing so.
This is particularly self-sabotaging given that President Trump has two known Covid vulnerabilities: his age and body composition.
And so, let’s not follow his lead here, but instead understand the threat of this virus and the needed steps to protect yourself. After all, if the president could get infected — with all the protection that he has— think of how vulnerable ordinary people are, like you!
The rest of this piece will focus on what Trump’s coronavirus infection shows is essential in order to avoid infection, and if infected, recover:
- We must wear face masks that are protective and social distance;
- We must ensure that our immune system can protect us from grave illness should we get infected.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Why Wearing A Face Mask Is Important
President Trump’s coronavirus risks dramatically increased day by day as he continued to spend time in close proximity to others without wearing a face mask.
Others in his circle did the same, and now more and more of them have been tested positive for coronavirus infection. Here’s the list as of October 3, 2020:
Shown left to right are President and Melania Trump; advisors Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Chris Christie; senators Mike Lee, Thom Tills and Ron Johnson (not pictured); and chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniels.
All of these people were in close proximity to Trump and one another, often indoors, without wearing a face mask.
The science clearly shows that face masks can prevent coronavirus transmission and save lives. I detail this in part of Lesson 3 of my forthcoming Covid Immunity course, which I’ll share with you next.
Wear A Face Mask (from Covid Immunity Course, Lesson 3)
An analysis of 200 countries found that places where masks weren’t recommended saw a 55% weekly increase in coronavirus deaths per capita after their first case was reported, compared with 7% in countries with cultures or guidelines supporting mask-wearing.
A model from the University of Washington predicts and compares the prevention of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. if 95% of the population were to wear face masks in public versus current trends of mask wearing.
The model is dynamic; it changes as new data is inputted, but there’s a notably higher number of deaths that happen when masks are not worn in public.
The CDC recommends that you wear a face mask when outside, especially if you’re in an enclosed area with others, or where people might have been recently. This is not only to protect yourself from others who might be infected with COVID-19, but to help you not spread the virus if you’re infected, but don’t realize it, which means you’re asymptomatic.
Assuming your mask is made of protective materials, the obvious protection it offers is to block or substantially reduce the viral load that could spew out of an infected person’s mouth while coughing, sneezing or talking close to you.
But there are three less obvious reasons why wearing a mask protects you:
- Low humidity
- Public restrooms
- Airborne dust
Low humidity is a key factor in the spread of the Coronavirus. Scientists estimate that for a 1% decrease in relative humidity, COVID-19 cases increase by 7 to 8%.
When the humidity is lower, the air is drier and it makes the aerosols smaller. Since aerosols are smaller than droplets, when you sneeze and cough, those smaller infectious aerosols can stay suspended in the air longer than droplets. This increases the exposure for other people. When the air is humid and the aerosols are larger and heavier, they fall and hit surfaces quicker.
I’ll speak to how to increase the humidity in your nasal passages later.
What about public restrooms? Yes, their havens for the virus.
Scientists simulated and tracked virus-laden particle movements when toilets and urinals were flushed. They discovered that flushing involves an interaction between gas and liquid, resulting in a large spread of aerosol particles.
The trajectory of the particles ejected from flushing showed that more than 57% of the particles traveled away from the urinal. 
The third reason a mask protects you is to keep you from breathing in viruses that can spread through the air on dust, fibers and other microscopic particles.
This was studied by counting airborne particles given off dust aerosolized by guinea pig movement rather than respiratory droplets from their breath. The researchers found spikes of up to 1,000 particles per second came off the animals as they moved around their cage. 
Guinea pigs immune to influenza had the virus applied to their fur. They transmitted the virus through the air to other, not-immune guinea pigs, showing that the virus did not have to come directly from the respiratory tract to be infectious.
The researchers also tested whether microscopic fibers from an inanimate object could carry infectious viruses. They treated paper facial tissues with influenza virus, let them dry out, and then crumpled them in front of an automated particle sizer.
Crumpling the facial tissues released up to 900 virus particles per second in a size that could be inhaled. The researchers were also able to infect cells from these particles released from the virus-contaminated paper tissues.
Clearly, it’s in your self interest to wear a face mask, and it’s the responsible thing to do for others, because you may be infected and not know it.
We know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
Face masks do not replace the need for washing hands or social distancing, nor do they alone prevent the spread of COVID-19. What masks do really well is to help reduce the chance of infecting others if you’re sick, and don’t know it.
The pertinent question is which mask does the job best? They don’t all offer the same level of protection for you, or others near you.
The ideal face mask blocks large respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes – the primary method by which people pass the coronavirus to others – along with smaller airborne particles, called aerosols, produced when people talk or exhale.
Check out a quick example of this offered by Bill Nye the Science Guy:
Bill Nye showed you how a simple double layer of cloth can keep you from spreading viral particles, but let’s delve deeper into the most protective face masks, both for you, and those around you.
The N99 and N95 offer the best protection for filtering viral particles. Both of these masks seal tightly around the nose and mouth so that very few viral particles can seep in or out. They also contain tangled fibres to filter airborne pathogens.
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection evaluated more than ten masks based on their ability to filter airborne coronavirus particles.
The researchers found that N99 masks reduced a person’s risk of infection by 94 to 99% after 20 minutes of exposure in a highly contaminated environment, and the N95 masks offered almost as much protection.
Second place went to disposable surgical masks. Surgical masks are made of nonwoven fabric, so they’re usually the safest option for healthcare workers who don’t have access to a N99 or N95 mask. Surgical masks are about three times as effective at blocking virus-containing aerosols than homemade face masks.
Then, of course, there’s a bewildering number of facemasks offered by various manufacturers. Or you can make your own.
The best-performing home made design is constructed of two layers of high-quality, heavyweight “quilter’s cotton” with a thread count of 180 or more, and those with especially tight weave and thicker thread, such as Batik quilting fabrics.
A double-layer mask with a simple cotton outer layer and an inner layer of flannel also performed well.
Whether you buy one or make your own, make sure you use the most protective fabric. Here’s a ranking of the best and worst face coverings based on the latest research:
If you choose to use a surgical mask, make sure it fits. Here’s a tip for doing that, demonstrated by Dr. Olivia Cui:
If you intend to make your own mask, make sure you use the most protective materials. Keep that in mind when you watch the following short video by Dr. Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General of the United States.
He demonstrates how to make the simplest mask I’ve seen that can prevent infection, but you can choose to use more protective materials than shown in his examples.
Whatever mask you choose to use, make sure it meets the CDC’s criteria. It must:
- Fit snugly (but comfortably) against your face.
- Be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Include multiple layers of fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
Be washable without damage or shape change.
Help Your Immune System Help You
I showed you who in President Trump’s circle, as of October 3, 2020, has tested positive for Covid. The reason more positive tests are expected from those in close contact with him is that it takes time for the viral load to get big enough to be discernible by the test.
Courtesy of the New York Times, below is a depiction of a viral load’s timeline progression from exposure to symptoms to recovery.
It’s expected that more will soon test positive for the virus once the viral load gets high enough for the test to discern it.
After an initial exposure to the virus, the number of viral particles in a person’s body (the viral load) takes time to build up as SARS-CoV-2 infiltrates cells and copies itself repeatedly. The viral load tends to peak before symptoms appear, if they appear at all. They then tend to decline quickly in the days following the first signs of illness.
The time between initial exposure to the virus and the appearance of symptoms is the incubation period. This period is usually between four to five days, but can be up to 14 days, or longer. This means that more people exposed to Trump may still test positive for the virus.
Most people who get infected recover within a couple of weeks, and do not need to be hospitalized. Trump has reportedly experienced only mild symptoms so far.
What Are Trump’s Coronavirus Risks?
In Lesson 10 of my Covid Course, I explore what comorbidities increase your risk of getting infected and very sick from the virus. I’ll share some of Lesson 10 with you below.
According to the CDC, nearly 90% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had one or more underlying health conditions, including hypertension, obesity, chronic lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 
Here’s the breakdown:
President Trump’s coronavirus risks are not trivial:
- At 74, he’s at risk of hospitalization (and was), and
- At 244 pounds and a BMI of 30.5, he’s obese. 
People between ages 65 and 74 are five times more likely to be hospitalized and 90 times more likely to die than those 18 to 29, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Men have accounted for 54% of Covid-19 deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The graph below from the CDC shows that hospitalization rates jump up every decade. Your age is definitely a leading indicator of the severity of COVID-19 should you get infected with SARS-CoV-2.
You can see from the graph that Trump, who is 74, had a higher probability to require hospitalization than those younger. But he has an additional issue — obesity.
Obesity is a condition that’s usually accompanied by at least mild or moderate hypertension (high blood pressure) and mild to moderate diabetes. The president’s high blood pressure is said to be under control, and he is not known to have Type 2 diabetes; obesity is a precursor to both these conditions and they are critical predictors of severe Covid-19 disease.
I’ll speak more about obesity in a moment, but first I want to give you some understanding of why age is such a risk factor for coronavirus.
Age and Your Immune System
The older we get, the more vulnerable we become to the virus, because our immune system becomes compromised. As we age, we produce fewer new T and B cells, which means less of these cells are available to fight new, unfamiliar viruses that your body had not encountered before.
There’s also a delay in the intercellular signalling between immune cells as we age.
A 72-hour delay in T cell response can be fatal in fighting something like the novel coronavirus, which replicates quickly inside the body.
Older people also tend to have a higher base level of cytokines in their bodies, and they also experience more comorbidities.
Pre-existing conditions like diabetes or heart disease can cause a higher baseline of cytokines in the elderly. The older you get, the more time chronic diseases have to become acute, and thereby damage your health and resilience against infection and diseases of any kind.
Given this, it’s unsurprising that the older you are, the more likely you would need to be hospitalized if you got infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Unfortunately, like many of our biological systems, the innate and adaptive immune systems become less robust as we get older.
The aging human immune system is characterized by two key changes:
- An increase in innate immune responses or chronic inflammation — commonly referred to as “inflammaging”, given the close association between aging and systemic (chronic) inflammation.
- A decrease in adaptive responses — referred to as “immunosenescence”, which is a gradual deterioration of the immune system.
It appears that a key factor in determining a poor prognosis during COVID-19 is a hyperactive innate immune system, and that possibly explains the increased complications experienced by older adults who get the disease.
An overactive innate immune response to a pathogen that leads to excess inflammation is a characteristic of aging, and of the chronic diseases of aging. This leads to damage to inflamed tissues and decreases the elderly’s resilience to infection.
Obesity and Your Immune System
Obesity is a problem across the world:
- Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
- In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
- 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
It’s been established that those five major comorbidities negatively affect positive health outcomes from Covid. The relevant question is:
How can those with any of these health issues reduce their risk of serious Covid complications?.
It distills down to inflammation. You need to decrease your baseline level of chronic inflammation, which is typically too high among the obese.
Chronic disease and the acute threat of Covid are mechanistically conjoined through inflammation. Obesity, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases induce systemic inflammation, and are promoted by it.
Such dysfunctional inflammation does three things:
- It impairs the body’s capacity for the functional inflammatory responses that are the hallmark of immunity.
- At the same time, it enables misdirected, unbalanced immune responses, such as the now notorious “cytokine storm.”
- And this results in damaged endothelium, the inner lining of our vast network of blood vessels, putting every organ-system at risk, and explaining the perplexing spectrum of Covid complications.
So, if you have any of the five comorbidities that have put you at risk of infection and grave illness from Covid, you have no greater incentive than this pandemic to get focused on making yourself healthier.
Supplements That May Reduce Trump’s Coronavirus Risks
It’s been reported that President Trump is taking some supplements to reduce the risks poised by his coronavirus infection; namely:
Certain vitamins, flavonoids, herbs and medicinal mushrooms have substantial research that back up their effectiveness against upper respiratory viral infections, such as SARS-CoV-2. This is why such nutraceuticals are a prominent feature of my Covid Immunity course.
Although, they are insufficient, I do advocate the three supplements that Trump is taking.
“If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements.”
The correlation between low vitamin D levels and death from COVID-19 is statistically significant, so it behooves you to ensure you have an adequate amount in your body. 
Zinc is an essential micronutrient that’s involved in the regulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. It has specific and well-known antiviral properties, such as to impair the ability of RNA viruses to replicate. 
As a dietary supplement, melatonin is widely used to enhance sleep, but a key reason to consider using it in the context of COVID-19 is that it inhibits escalating inflammation, a key reason people get so sick after infection, and it reduces airway inflammation.
Remember these four things:
- President Donald Trump and his close associates got infected by the cornoavirus because they were lax in consistently wearing face masks and social distancing. Select a mask that works and use it anytime you’re around people.
- In order to get infected with the virus you need to have enough of the viral particles (viral load) in your body. Usually for that to happen, you need to be in close contact with an infected person for enough time for the viral load to cause infection. How much time is variable, but forget about that and just wear a face mask.
- Age, obesity, hypertension, lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the comorbidities that make you vulnerable to infection and illness. …
- Specific supplements can be helpful. President Trump’s coronavirus risks are, in part, being managed by taking vitamin D, zinc and melatonin. Although potentially helpful, these are insufficient.
There’s so much more to learn about how nutracueticals can help you avoid infection and reduce its severity should you get infected, which is why they’re such an important factor in my Covid Immunity Course.
Here’s some more immunity/Covid info to chew on: