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.
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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:
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.
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