As is usually the case with new coronavirus infections, it’s not apparent when President Trump first contracted the virus or from whom and because of the uncertain starting point that typically accompanies a confirmed case, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention uses either a positive test or the first manifestation of symptoms of COVID 19, the disease caused by the virus, as a starting point for tracking the disease’s progression.
For Donald Trump, that starting point would then be either Wednesday or Thursday of last week and it was reported that he was feeling tired during his events in Minnesota on the former day, and a test that came back positive was administered on the latter.
This means that, despite the insistences from Donald Trump’s team that he was ready to leave the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre after having been admitted there Friday, he’s on the cusp of a dangerous period in his illness and that clinicians should be aware of the potential for some patients to rapidly deteriorate one week after illness onset.
Over the weekend, Donald Trump’s team kept saying that the next 48 hours were critical, but the CDC’s assessment indicates that the next few days are, too and the earliest manifestation to commonly occur in patients with more complex cases of COVID 19 is laboured breathing, something Donald Trump’s medical team said he hadn’t experienced.
The median period in which that kicks in is five to eight days after onset or right about now.
The onset of acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, usually happens approximately eight to 12 days after onset, with admission to intensive care happening a median of 10 to 12 days after a positive test or symptoms.
Donald Trump, of course, was already in the hospital and the median length of hospital stay is 10 to 13 days, although it’s unusual for patients to be proactively admitted to the hospital before they show extreme symptoms.
The CDC data suggest that just over a quarter of COVID 19 patients end up in the hospital and the chances that those people contract ARDS is higher than among patients overall, though that probability is still lower than the frequency of ARDS among those admitted to intensive care.
And there’s a lot of uncertainty about Donald Trump’s diagnosis beyond just the point at which it was first detected or manifested.
We don’t know, for example, how severe his condition was on Friday, prompting the trip to Walter Reed but his team were keen to suggest that the move was merely precautionary and, that more recently, that hospitalisation was no longer necessary.
Perhaps Donald Trump’s medical treatment should have been suspended, then we can let his followers heal him with their magical thoughts and prayers and if he’s really the chosen one, then he won’t need steroids and a cocktail of antiviral drugs – he’s heaven-sent, he’ll be fine.
And it’s amusing that his followers were praying for him, but science and socialised medicine will treat and save him, and then they will give the magic sky daddy all the glory, but I doubt he’s saved, and footage of him unmasking himself like a dictator when he got back to the White House showed him having trouble breathing.
Frankly, I do expect him to drop dead if he keeps this charade up, but I hope that he doesn’t, but we now know that Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID 19 earlier than he acknowledges and just went about his business, with absolutely no safeguards, contaminating people everywhere – remember he’s not the victim – he’s the drunk driver.