The CDC says obesity can worsen the effects of the coronavirus on a patient. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19, the president wrote on Twitter Friday, October 2, 2020. The positive test result came hours after the announcement that Hope Hicks, one of his senior aides, tested positive for the coronavirus. The president and first lady are quarantining at home and were not experiencing severe symptoms.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump’s Body Mass Index Classifies Him as Just Over the Threshold of Obesity
Trump underwent his last routine physical in April, 2020, which indicated the president was just over the threshold of obesity. At that time, Trump weighed 244 pounds. He is 6-feet, 3-inches tall, and his body mass index classifies him as obese, Bloomberg reported. He had gained one pound since his last physical, and had three routine physicals as president, the news outlet reported.
“Based on my history, examination and consultations, the data indicates the president remains healthy,” the White House physician, Sean Conley, said in a memo released to news outlets on June 3.
The memo said there were no significant changes to the president’s health since his previous physical. His cholesterol level was down compared to the previous two yearly physicals. Trump takes 40 milligrams of rosuvastatin daily, which is a drug more commonly known by the brand name Crestor. His blood pressure is slightly up and his resting heart rate was slightly down, Bloomberg reported.
Conley also confirmed at the time that Trump took a two-week course hydroxychloroquine after two White House staffers contracted Covid-19 in May. He also took zinc and vitamin D supplements along with the drug, Bloomberg reported.
Obesity Can Worsen the Effects of COVID-19 & Increase the Likelihood a Patient Will Be Hospitalized
An obese COVID-19 patient can experience more serious symptoms of the coronavirus than a patient who is not obese, according to the CDC.
“Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease. Having obesity puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” the CDC reported. “Everyone has a role to play in turning the tide against obesity and its disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups.”
The CDC said adults with obesity are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and face triple the risk of hospitalization due to the coronavirus. Obesity also decreases lung capacity, and can make ventilation more difficult. Obesity has also been linked to impaired immune function. Studies have indicated that obese adults may have lower responses to vaccines including influenza6, Hepatitis B7,8,9, and tetanus10. The higher a person’s BMI, the higher their risk of death from COVID-19.
Conley released a statement to CNN about the president’s health regarding his positive COVID-19 test, which said he will continue monitoring his condition and expects Trump will continue in his duties without disruption.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” the statement said. “The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”