President Trump announced that he tested positive for COVDI-19 on October 1st. Since then at least seven other attendees of a Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Barrett on September 26th have tested positive for the virus. We wish them all speedy and full recoveries. However, the prognosis for each of them varies widely depending on their age, gender, and general health.
The exponential age and gender behavior of COVID-19 patients has remained roughly the same since we first published our version of the graphic below 6 months ago. Improved testing and identification of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases mostly among younger adults have improved the overall case fatality rate (CFR = deaths/cases), but have not changed the strong exponential age dependence. Better healthcare treatments in terms of logistics (avoiding bed, equipment, and supply shortages that plagued Italy early on) and the introduction of newer therapeutics such as Remdesivir, steroids, and clonal antibodies have prolonged patient lives and improved survival rates modestly.
For example, a 50-yrs old female with average health, like the First Lady, would have a CFR of 0.7%. On the other hand a 74-yrs old male with average health would have a CFR of 13%. The President, being somewhat overweight with moderately high cholesterol and blood pressure issues would have a worse CFR – perhaps 30 times worse than for his wife. For a 31-yrs old female of average health like Hope Hicks, her CFR is less than 0.1% similar to that for seasonal flu. So the range of possible outcomes is extremely wide.
Hospitalization is a leading indicator of the severity of the disease. In Florida about a third of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients eventually die. The risk of hospitalization for the very obese nearly triples that for a person with normal weight. Currently the President and Chris Christy (with asthma and obesity) are both hospitalized.