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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

The US President, Donald Trump, as announced that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for COVID-19, and have started self isolation. 

Prof Rowland Kao, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science, University of Edinburgh, said:

“That Donald Trump became infected was not an inevitability, but is consistent with him being a high risk candidate for infection – both because of his apparent attitudes towards personal protective measures (such as maintaining physical distance and towards face masks), but also because, as a public figure, he would be in contact with many people in many different places, including this being frequently at close quarters. Also of concern is that those very same conditions make him more likely to infect others when infectious, and so his actions now have great importance in terms of reducing that risk of creating new outbreaks, but perhaps most importantly as an example to others – whether that is for better or worse is up to him.”

Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said:

“The President’s profile would classify him as vulnerable. He is aged 74, and reportedly overweight. Many people in their 70s will also have further co-morbidities that increase the risks of a more severe illness.

“It appears that at least one of his close aides has COVID-19, so it is plausible that was the mode of transmission here. However, he has also attended large scale indoor meetings, where good infection control practice was not in evidence. This includes the lack of wearing of face masks among those attending. These are all risk factors for transmission that could be relatively easily reduced to increase safety of the participants, and can support lowering transmission onto high-risk groups.” 


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