Dr. Bow Tie
October 3rd: COVID-19 and Trump
The man who has consistently downplayed the seriousness of this pandemic, has mostly refused to wear a mask, and has not taken enough precautions, has been infected and hospitalized with COVID-19 (likely the viral pneumonia, maybe other symptoms). This is NOT a gloat.
This is what happens when we don't listen to science and instead focus on popularity and self-image.
But I'm not here to talk about what could have been done. Most of you already know that, and if you don't, you can look at my past posts (and probably my future ones because this isn't going anywhere). Here is what is likely happening:
Trump is at Walter Reed Hospital. We have heard that he has received an experimental drug, lab-created polyclonal antibodies (so the lab-created equivalent of convalescent plasma). It's newer than all the other medications (still in its initial human trial, though it showed promise in rodent models). It's bold to use it in such a high-profile case, and while it will hopefully be beneficial, I would not take that as definitive of its positive effects.
He is also likely getting a combination of the following (barring any contraindications):
Supplemental Oxygen (if needed to keep his oxygen saturations normal)
Dexamethasone (a steroid that has been shown in multiple trials to decrease the inflammatory response and lessen duration and severity of COVID-19 - this is the med that ACTUALLY helped in more recent trials where they tried to promote hydroxychloroquine).
Remdesivir (an antiviral medication that has also been shown in multiple trials to have a positive effect, but is still under emergency use authorization by the FDA because it has not gone through the full approval process).
An anticoagulant such as heparin because COVID-19 has been seen to increase likelihood of blood clots.
Other supportive treatments such as diuretics (to protect against fluid overload which happens frequently in COVID-19 viral pneumonia) and, if needed, breathing treatments like albuterol.
I do not enjoy that he has been hospitalized. I don't enjoy that he has COVID-19. That's not how we roll. As a Christian and a physician, we don't pray for others to suffer (unlike certain "Christians" who expressed prayers for Justice Ginsberg's cancer to return and subsequent delight when it took her).
Instead, my heart goes out to the First Family, and to the people taking care of them. And let us bear in mind that Trump was able to go to the hospital, as his staff claims, "As a precaution." He has guaranteed healthcare and access to multiple specialists without worrying about his insurance network, and is even able to get experimental medications as a VIP (for better or worse). All this despite having at least one pre-existing condition that, without the protections of the Affordable Care Act, would likely get him denied insurance were he not president. And he will not have to worry about ridiculous hospital bills that could cripple him financially (not that that could get much worse for him).
My only hope is that he recovers and takes the pandemic as seriously as it deserves, and that his followers do the same. That we take real steps, no matter who wins the election, to fix the broken healthcare system that ensures this hierarchy of healthcare access that should not exist.
And that we redirect our funding properly - to allow people to quarantine and distance where needed, and for those who are unable to work at this time (like the President right now), for any number of reasons, to still survive. And to get hospitals more PPE. Too many places are still reusing N95s, some for weeks on end (thankfully not me, but far too many), and are limited on other supplies. This is where federal funding should be going. I hope we can do that.
As always, please continue to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. If you have concerns or symptoms, testing is available, but be proactive with your precautions. Now more than ever.