TUCSON, Ariz. - How serious a sign is it that President Trump went to a hospital after his positive diagnosis for COVID-19?
Tucson Doctor Richard Carmona is a former U.S. Surgeon General. He’s also leading the University of Arizona’s medical response to COVID-19. He says the White House Medical Office is like a well equipped doctor's office, not a full hospital, so it’s a sensible precaution to move the President to Walter Reed Medical Center, the top line military hospital where Presidents go for secure, sophisticated treatment.
Doctor Carmona says the President is at higher risk because of his age and weight and his doctors have to be especially alert for the quick decline that can hit COVID patients.
“And a lot of times it starts out like a little malaise, but then it can really progress pretty rapidly into what they call the COVID storm, where you have to go on a ventilator and be sick. Now I'm not saying that will happen. But my sense is that the White House doctors who I know who are very good probably should say, ‘Why are we going to take a chance on him being in the White House that he gets real sick. Let's put them up in the suite at Walter Reed, and make sure that he has everything he needs there,’ so I'm sure they're just playing it safe.”
Doctor Carmona says the President and his staff go so many places and see so many people, contact tracers will have a real challenge tracking down others who might have been exposed.
He says like so many people he’ll be watching for updates, but watching with the eye of a trained physician who has seen Presidential health care up close.
“Certainly any reports that the physicians provide for his stability or instability as the case may be, you know, hopefully he's going to be stable and recover quickly. The second part is how aggressive is the tracking and tracing going to be for all these people who may have been inadvertently contacted by the President or his team who may be positive or the First Lady, that it is it is really our responsibility now to contact people and say you may be infected you need to be tested. You need to be quarantined. If you're a high risk person.”