US President Donald Trump was taken to hospital on Friday evening (Dutch time). Earlier in the day, he tested positive for the coronavirus. The hospitalization is as a precaution, according to the White House. Seven questions on the matter.
1. How sick is Trump?
Based on what has been announced so far, you can say: the hospitalization sounds more alarming than it is. Doctors have advised the president to be admitted as a precaution to Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, near Washington. Doctors can then immediately provide him with the right care if necessary, according to the official account. Trump is undergoing experimental treatment – also as a precaution.
Earlier Friday night, memos from his doctor and spokespersons revealed that Trump was “tired but cheerful.” He had “mild symptoms and has today (from home, ed.) “It also sounded.” Out of enormous precaution and on the advice of his doctor and medical experts, he will be working from the presidential office in Walter Reed for the next few days. “Trump is also undergoing investigations there.
Two sources whose name has not been disclosed said The New York Times that the president “has a mild fever and a stuffy nose and is coughing.” However, such details have not been officially disclosed.
In a short video on Twitter, Trump himself said shortly before leaving: “I think I’m doing very well” and “We’re going to make sure it works out.” His wife Melania, who is also infected, is also doing well.
2. How will this end for Trump?
Without a crystal ball that is impossible to say and without his medical file little can even be said about his current situation. There are only a few generalities. On the one hand, the vast majority of corona patients recover, including those who are in hospital (not even as a precaution). On the other hand, Trump does belong to the risk group: he is 74 years old. The death rate in that age group varies (depending on which survey you take) from about 6 to about 10 percent.
In addition, Trump is quite overweight and seems to have an unhealthy diet. Finally, his sex is not entirely in his favor either: statistically, men are more likely to die from the coronavirus than women.
The next few days are going to be tense for Trump: COVID-19 often starts with mild cold or flu-like symptoms. These may be over after a few days, or sometimes the situation worsens and hospitalization follows. This happened, for example, to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (56), who started with ‘only’ home isolation but ended up in intensive care. He has now fully recovered.
3. Can Trump still rule the country?
For the time being, there is not a single signal that gives the impression that this is not the case. After all, the president still works, it has been said, but from the hospital.
Should the situation deteriorate, the US Constitution requires the Vice President (Mike Pence, tested negative for the virus) to take over if the President is no longer able to run the country. However, a White House spokesman said that is not the case now. “The president is in charge.”
4. What does this mean for the elections?
Trump’s campaign has been halted. And while most Americans now know whether they want to see Trump in the White House for another four years, the president desperately needed this last campaign month until the election to convince the floating voter. He liked to do this with large physical gatherings, mass rallies, in various swing states.