The key difference between Trump’s infection, which caused him to spend three nights at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Biden’s illness lies in the vaccines, experts say.
So far, Biden has received four doses, providing a high level of protection against hospitalization and death. When Trump contracted the virus, there were no vaccines.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in Januaryat the height of the Omicron wave, an unvaccinated person was 12 times more likely to be hospitalized than a revaccinated person.
“However, it’s a completely different scenario to talk about a Covid infection and someone who has received a quadruple vaccination compared to someone who hasn’t been vaccinated,” said Celine Gunder, a physician at Bellevue Hospital and an epidemiologist at the Grossman School of Medicine. at New York University. in a May interview. “And I think that message still doesn’t reach people – that vaccines are really very effective in preventing hospitalization and death.”
Without access to vaccines, Trump faced a much higher risk of infection.
“[Trump] would be very sick — at his age, he is predicted to be very sick,” said Eric Topol, MD, professor of molecular medicine and founder of the Scripps Translational Research Institute. “And in fact, he was.”
Biden also has new treatment options to help fight infection, including Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid.
“We know that Paxlovid is also very effective in keeping people out of the hospital,” Gonder said.
Pfizer’s antiviral pill for Covid-19 cut risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent in high-risk patients According to test results released by the company in December.
While relapses with antivirals are possible—an issue that is still being researched—they remain a highly effective solution and another layer of protection.
When Trump had Covid-19, he was given treatment with monoclonal antibodies made by Regeneron, as well as remdesivir, an antiviral drug.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is also an option for Biden if needed, experts say, but it doesn’t work as well as treatment options compared to when Trump was infected.
“We are running out of chances that monoclonal antibodies will help. This variant has so many immune escapes,” Topol said of the Omicron variant, including sub-variants such as BA.2 and BA.5.
Another difference is the new strains of the virus, which are now much more contagious than the original version.
Trump has contracted a less contagious but more dangerous strain, public health experts say.
The virus is still evolving and several sub-variants have recently emerged in the world.
“There is little risk [Biden] with severe covid — a serious illness — and requiring hospitalization,” Topol said. “Fortunately, this risk is small, but it has increased as the virus has evolved into these much more complex variants.”
While treatments may be less effective due to new strains of the virus, the dominant variants circulating today are not known to be significantly more deadly than earlier versions.
Another difference between Biden and Trump infections is comorbidities.
“Trump’s main risk factor was his obesity, and we know that comes with a significant risk for Covid,” Topol said. “Obviously, this is not a Biden problem. I don’t know of any other comorbidities that Biden has other than his age.”
Although comprehensive medical records are not available, both administrations have released some details about Trump and Biden’s health. In 2020, shortly before Trump’s infection, the White House published his honey. Trump weighs 244 pounds and is 6 feet 3 inches tall. This fits the clinical definition of obesity and increases the risk of hospitalization due to Covid-19. According to the CDC. Judging by his physique, Biden is just under 6 feet tall and weighs 184 pounds.
Biden is 79 years old. Trump was 74 years old when he contracted Covid. The risk increases for people in their 50s and more for people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, according to the CDC. People aged 85 years and older are most susceptible to severe illness.
Biden may still be susceptible to prolonged Covid. The post-viral condition, which sometimes includes severe fatigue, persistent breathing problems, or cognitive impairment, is not yet well understood.
Now, experts say, the broad list of symptoms has disabled some, even those who have been vaccinated. Although a minority of infected people carry Covid for a long time, according to preliminary dataover a million people in the UK reported lingering symptoms of Covid-19.