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How does Donald Trump’s Covid care compare to the average 74-year-old’s?

From getting a helicopter ride to a military hospital with a specialized suite to receiving experimental drugs made available to fewer than 10 people, Donald Trump’s experience with Covid-19 has been very different from that of your average 74-year-old American with a serious illness.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Ken Cedeno/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Ken Cedeno/EPA



a man wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump gestures upon returning to the White House on 5 October.


© Photograph: Ken Cedeno/EPA
Donald Trump gestures upon returning to the White House on 5 October.

Related: Trump enjoys top Covid care that could cost ordinary Americans millions

The president ignored these disparities after returning to the hospital on Monday night and in a video from the White House Trump said of Covid-19: “Don’t be afraid of it.”

Here’s a look at how different the experience of catching Covid-19 is for the most powerful 74-year-old in the US compared with most of his fellow citizens:

Diagnosis

First, there is the simple step of realizing someone has the illness.

Trump had access to regular testing, something most, if not all, 74-year-olds do not.

As a white male, Trump was less likely to test positive for the virus. Though testing rates are similar across racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic patients were more than two and a half times more likely to have a positive result and Black and Asian patients were nearly twice as likely to test positive compared with white patients, according to Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

This suggests people of color face increased barriers to testing which delay their ability to get a diagnosis until their condition is more serious.

Care

People who test positive for Covid are usually told to monitor their symptoms at home, no matter what their age.

Trump was able to take a helicopter to a military hospital once he tested positive. And at his home, the White House, the president will be receiving an outstanding level of care from a team of well-equipped, dedicated medical staff.

He will have access to an at-home clinic with exam rooms and hospital equipment, including supplies to perform emergency lifesaving procedures. In an emergency, he can also turn to his fleet of helicopters to get him to the hospital in a few minutes.

The president has access to the best specialists, the best medical care and really any medical countermeasure that he would ever want

Dr Krutika Kuppalli

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Dr Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician at the Medical University of South Carolina, said: “The president has access to the best specialists, the best medical care and really any medical countermeasure that he would ever want. That is not the medical care most people have in the United States, or in the world.”

If a 74-year-old is admitted to the hospital, they could, like the president, have access to the antiviral drug remdesivir.

But unless they enroll in a clinical trial, they can’t access the experimental antibody treatment Trump is receiving. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which makes the

The US is reporting more than 45,000 positive Covid-19 tests on average every day



a person standing next to a car: Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


© Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The US is averaging more than 45,000 new Covid-19 positive tests each day — up 8% from the previous week and more than double what the country was seeing in June, as lockdown restrictions were easing.

It’s a case count experts warn is far too high ahead of what’s forecast to be a challenging — and deadly — winter season. The latest US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast says US Covid-19 deaths could reach 233,000 by the end of this month.

And projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show more than 2,900 Americans could be dying daily by January.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “disturbed and concerned” by the country’s average case count.

“That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic,” he said.

And as the weather gets colder, things will get tougher.

Gatherings will likely begin to move indoors, where the virus is more prone to spread. And as colleges battle outbreaks on campus, students soon returning to visit their families for the holidays could unknowingly bring the virus with them.

On top of that, it’ll be coupled with flu season to create what experts say could turn into a “twin-demic.” What could help, health officials have said, are flu shots and strong safety measures like masks and social distancing.

The high average case count comes alongside more worrying trends: only Alabama and Hawaii are reporting a decline of new cases over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And nationwide, hospitalizations have begun to rise, with more than 34,000 hospitalized patients, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Field hospital prepares to open in Wisconsin

Hospitalization trends are growing across the Midwest and in states of every other US region, with “especially worrisome signs” in Wisconsin, the project said. At least 41 states saw increased numbers of people requiring hospitalization this week, the project said Thursday.

Wisconsin announced it would open a field hospital next week to address the surge of patients.

“We obviously hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different and more dire place today, and our healthcare systems are being overwhelmed,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news conference.

The state has seen some of the country’s most alarming trends recently: reporting record-high cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the past days.

But it’s not alone. Utah leaders said the state isn’t trailing far behind. And Iowa’s hospitalizations set a record this week with more than 460 Covid-19 patients across the state. Missouri’s health department also broke a record Wednesday, with more than 1,300 Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming also saw record-high