Trump’s Atypical COVID Care

The President is not like other people.

Reporters Julie Bosman, Sarah Mervosh, Amy Harmon and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs of the New York Times remind us that “Most Patients’ Covid-19 Care Bears Little Resemblance to Trump’s.”

While this would seem obvious, I’ve actually seen well-educated Trump supporters on my Facebook feed arguing that, because Trump—a visibly unfit 74-year-old who doesn’t exercise or eat well—bounced back so quickly, it proves that the virus really isn’t that bad and we should throw away our masks. But, as the report notes, Trump is a really poor example.

It began, as these things often do, with a serious of anecdotes of ordinary Americans who have either suffered with the disease or lost loved ones, many of whom are furious at Trump’s continued downplaying of the threat. But, eventually, it gets to the headline subject:

Nothing about the medical care that presidents receive is typical.

The coronavirus is no different: From the beginning, Mr. Trump’s experience has stood in stark contrast to that of everyday Americans who have also contracted the virus. He so far seems to have benefited not only from power, money and access to first-class medical treatment, but also from the timing of his illness. He caught the virus seven months into the pandemic, after the country built up supplies and doctors honed their understanding of the disease.

After Mr. Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks tested positive, the president and the first lady were able to get tested and learn their results within hours, an experience shared by few Americans.


Mr. Trump also has had access to therapies available to few of his constituents. One of his treatments, the steroid dexamethasone, was not used widely to treat coronavirus patients at the beginning of the pandemic and was not adopted by some hospital officials in the United States until as recently as this summer.

We have had a handful of COVID scares at the university but have, thanks to pretty rigorous measures to contain spreads, no mass contagion. But even field grade military officers in the national capital region—within driving distance of Walter Reed, no less—don’t have instant access to rapid testing.

When someone either has symptoms are has come into contact with someone suspected of having COVID, we have them immediately self-isolate and report it so that we can do contact tracing and isolate others. It’s inefficient but prudent.

Our students, faculty, and staff are much better off than the average American in terms of income, education, health insurance coverage, and access to top-notch facilities. None of us have anything remotely resembling the access to care that Trump received.

None of us begrudge the head of state going to the front of the line. The office is that important, regardless of what one thinks of the man holding it. But it’s outrageous that he keeps downplaying a disease that could well have killed him if not for the extraordinary care his office affords him—all while his epically poor leadership his led to untold needless deaths of the citizens he’s sworn to protect.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. CSK says:

    The Trump spin appears to be that it’s not so much the excellent care he received as it is his extraordinarily robust constitution and overall superb heath that enabled him to conquer the Covid-19.

    Of course this doesn’t comport with the parallel notion that the virus is no big deal, but I don’t expect consistency from Trump or his devotees.

  2. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Wait until next week and we see whether he’s deteriorating or staying close to the same because he’s hopped up on medication.

  3. charon says:


    The Trump spin appears to be that it’s not so much the excellent care he received as it is his extraordinarily robust constitution and overall superb heath that enabled him to conquer the Covid-19.

    (Added my emphasis). The “Trump spin” is also the Fox News/GOP party line.

    It’s doubtful he really has “conquered” it, that likely is just hopeful spin. Symptoms/severity often come and go with this disease plus dexamethasone is mood altering and often gives a false sense of well-being, especially initially. He was in obvious respiratory distress and wincing with pain as he breathed during his balcony stunt.

    Herman Cain claimed to be feeling better July 27, he was dead July 30.

    6/24: Attends Trump rally, maskless

    7/2: Tests positive for Covid-19

    7/10: Says he’s improving

    7/15: Says his doctors seem happy

    7/27: Says he’s really getting better

    7/30: Dies  

  4. charon says:


    his extraordinarily robust constitution

    I thought the spin was also you too can beat this disease if you have a positive attitude and don’t submit to it.

    Trump is really into Norman Vincent Peale and “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

  5. CSK says:

    @charon: @charon:
    One thing you can depend on is that, unless something drastic happens, we’ll never get the truth about Trump’s condition.

  6. Kathy says:


    What seems different with Trump the Lesser is the Regeneron antibody mix. Which is still in clinical trials and won’t be available for general use for some months now.

    Monoclonal antibodies are commonly used in cancer treatments and I think other conditions. Not long ago I mentioned a company in Costa Rica which is trying to produce polyclonal antibodies using horses, much like anti-venom is made. In typical mediocre science journalism in the mainstream press, I’ve seen no follow up.

    Anyway, if Regeneron’s treatment works so well, and there are many possible side effects, it might get early approval shortly after phase 3 trials get started if early results are good enough. But we have to wait for that yet.

    Essentially the antibody mix brings part of the adaptive immune system’s response days earlier, which is not good for the virus.

    Now, no doubt the White House will provide updates on how all the non-famous staff who were infected are doing, and no doubt Trump and his so-called administration will move heaven and earth to secure antibody treatments for all of them.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    Subhead says ‘the president is not like other people’. And I guess the White House is not like other places. No contact tracing needed if you get Covid in the Rose Garden!

    What a country! Eh?

  8. KM says:

    @CSK :
    Trump’s specifically citing his “good genes” as why. This matters because he’s been very vocal about said “good genes” and other eugenics-related theories lately. While there may be a genetic component to the severity of infection and symptoms, that’s not what he meant. Like the way he talks about his “very good brain” and not his intelligence, Trump truly believes he’s inherently better physically and genetically. It feeds into his white supremacy BS and explains why POC and impoverished people tend to fair worse with COVID – they’re just inferior to the Great White Hope. Trump’s tweets, as well as FOX and his sycophants’ gushing, reflects this – they talk about him like an ubermensch.

  9. CSK says:

    This is a blatant message to his white supremacist supporters, whom I gather have been less than pleased with him lately.

  10. EddieInCA says:

    I must be spoiled. I get tested three times per week on my current job after being tested twice a week in Utah and Montana on the last job. Since July 6th, I’ve been tested more than 40 times. I have my next one today at 12:45. PCR on Wednesdays. Abbott Rapid Test on Mondays and Fridays.

  11. JKB says:

    That COVID is a threat to older individuals with co-morbidities is well documented. But even then the survival rate for those over 70 with more than one co-morbidity is 95%. That we lost a lot of people while the medical system developed therapeutics, and possibly a very rapid vaccine is also well documented. Even then still today, most are not provided medical assistance after testing positive until they are symptomatic, and often due to people delaying going to the doctor, with symptoms out of control. This latter is not President Trump, it is the “experts”.

    On the other hand, the Heritage Foundation has a graphic illustrating the “panic” we see from many commenters compared to the experience of most Americans with the virus. Namely, that 10 counties (0.3% of counties), 11.2% of the population have 22.6% of deaths. On the other end, 56.3% of counties have 10 or fewer deaths, with 11.3% of the population, and just 2.5% of deaths. 48% of deaths are from counties with just over 25% of the population.

    As you can see, quite the different experiences and certainly doesn’t justify national edicts or promised presidential edicts for the destruction of the economy and the economic lives of people in low incidence areas.

    This virus is not trivial, but it is also increasingly lessening threat. High risk people need to be protected (and not seeded with the virus like in NY), but the dangers to others is low and declining. I know two 20-somethings who tested positive, had a couple days of mid-grade fever and sore throat, with nothing but OTC medications, then just had to wait out their 10 days. Didn’t even see a doctor.

  12. Teve says:

    @CSK: have they?

  13. SKI says:

    @EddieInCA: Maybe not spoiled but definitely very, very unusual.

    I work in healthcare and the doctors and staff don’t get tested anywhere near that frequently. Staff and doctors in long term care facilities get once a week, the rest, even EMed and ICU, get tested only as needed.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: I fully expect him to head back to WR in a week or so.

  15. CSK says:

    A bit. He hasn’t yet done enough to stem the influx of the brown hordes.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Because this seems so appropriate, I am going to repost this here:

    Robert Samuels

    The more I hear about President Trump’s covid treatment, the more I think about the late James Brooks, an 80-year-old black man who lived outside Detroit. He left Mississippi for Detroit and built a middle-class life for his family as a company man at Chrysler.

  17. @Kathy:

    What seems different with Trump the Lesser is the Regeneron antibody mix. Which is still in clinical trials and won’t be available for general use for some months now.

    It’s my understanding only 10 people have received this anti-body cocktail.
    In the meantime the POTUS is ranting in a manner than clearly means he is unfit…more unfit…more delusional than usual.
    Yet he is surrounded by lackeys who don’t have the balls to do anything about it.
    If I went to work that fuqing high, I would be shown the door.

  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    Most people with cancer of the testicles survive. Want to take your chances?

    Most people in car accidents don’t have to go to the hospital. Want to try driving with your eyes closed?

    Death is not the only negative outcome. You wouldn’t know this of course since Q hasn’t told you, but there is a whole long list of godawful symptoms among survivors. How do you feel about permanent lung damage? Los of taste and smell? How do you feel about cognitive impairment? No, really, you’ve clearly suffered them, how do you feel about it?

    You nuts are essentially recycling right wing talking points about mandatory seatbelts and motorcycle helmets. Dumb then, dumber now, because at least if you split your head open riding a Harley into a telephone pole you just hurt yourself, you don’t hurt innocent bystanders.

    Side Note: Does anyone else feel a loss of energy in dealing with Trumpaloons like clown boy here? It’s like it started out as war, very existential, but now it’s like we’re just wandering the battlefield mercy killing the wounded.

  19. Monala says:

    On yesterday’s open thread I posted this:

    There’s a Fox News graphic being shared by Trump supporters on Twitter that shows every age group surviving Covid at rates greater than 99%, except the oldest, which drops down to 95%. Except that’s not what the CDC’s data shows. Folks in age groups up to the 40s do survive at rates of 99% or greater. But in the 50s it drops to 98%, then to 92% for folks 65-74, 83% for folks 75-84, and 72% for 85+.

    Now, some on the right claim that older folks would have died anyway, but they don’t realize how much that attitude is hurting them with older voters. Likely voters ages 65+, whom Trump won handily in 2016, are now supporting Joe Biden over Trump 52%-47%.

    And along comes JKB to say even for people over 75 only 5% die! Rather than the actual CDC stats, where it’s more like 20%. So he’s obviously seen the Fox News graphic and absorbed its talking points.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    No, it’s on phase 2 trials involving hundreds. Perhaps 10 or so have received it under compassionate use.

    We know the only “cure” for viral infections is for the immune system to clear it. The antibody mix speeds up the process by having antibodies in circulation days or weeks before the adaptive immune system gets that far.

    I got some info on the Costa Rican effort, BTW. It’s on phase 2 as well, but results are unclear.

  21. charon says:

    How about this for some really great optics:

    Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says President Trump wants to resume working from the Oval Office and they now have precautions in place to allow for that. Any staff coming in contact with him will wear gowns, gloves, mask, eye protection

  22. CSK says:

    Well, above any other consideration, he has to prove that he’s tough. The hell with the well-being of others.

    What do you want to bet he orders them to remove the ppe?

  23. Scott says:

    How Much Would Trump’s Coronavirus Treatment Cost Most Americans?

    President Donald Trump spent three days in the hospital. He arrived and left by helicopter. And he received multiple coronavirus tests, oxygen, steroids and an experimental antibody treatment.

    For someone who isn’t president, that would cost more than $100,000 in the American health system. Patients could face significant surprise bills and medical debt even after health insurance paid its share.

    The biggest financial risks would come not from the hospital stay but from the services provided elsewhere, including helicopter transit and repeated coronavirus testing.

  24. Nightcrawler says:


    Agreed. He hasn’t “recovered.” No one “recovers” this quickly.

    He’s pumped full of drugs to keep him ambulatory and tweeting.

  25. EddieInCA says:


    All the film and TV studios and networks have similar protocols in place. That’s the advantage of working in an industry with strong unions. All the testing was negotiated between the unions and AMPTP. I get tested three times a week. The nurse that tests me only gets tested once a week.

    Go figure.

  26. a country lawyer says:

    @charon: According to Leon Panetta, One of President Obama’s Chief Staff there is a fully operational office in the residence, so there is no need to use the oval office.

  27. CSK says:

    @a country lawyer:
    What do you want to bet that pretty soon Trump will have some sycophant* tweeting out tweeting out photos of him sitting at the desk, signing blank pieces of paper, and looking stern and commanding?

    *It won’t be Ivanka. She is said to have fled the West Wing.

  28. Nightcrawler says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Early-stage breast cancer has a 99% survival rate,* and hey, I didn’t need a mastectomy or chemo, so what’s all the fuss about?

    * That 99% is only a five-year survival rate, which doesn’t mean much. I’m three years out from diagnosis. Even if my cancer came back metastatic tomorrow, it’s unlikely I’d die within two years. But the type of tumor I had usually doesn’t have metastatic recurrence that quickly. If it does happen — and there’s a 1/3 chance that it will — it’s more likely it will happen 10 or 15 years from now.

    We don’t have five years of data for COVID-19 survivorship, so we have no idea how many COVID survivors will die of the disease between now and 2025. We have no idea what’s going to happen to long-haulers, or even asymptomatic patients.

    I reiterate: I would rather be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer than COVID-19. MBC would definitely kill me; it’s invariably fatal. But at least there are treatments for it. Some MBC patients live for years after diagnosis; that’s why the five-year stat is meaningless. COVID-19 long-haulers are screwed. We don’t know if they’ll get better, or get worse. We have no idea how to treat them. There’s nothing that can be done for them. They are in a worse situation than patients with an invariably fatal but treatable cancer.

  29. KM says:


    You know what, let’s humor this stupidity. 5% is REALLY high mortality rate for a modern disease – that’s a death rate of 1 in 20. I know that’s hard to visiuslize for some so let’s run an experiment. There’s more than 20 regular posters here, you and myself included; there’s 13 on this thread alone as of this post. If we all got COVID, at least one of us would cork it with those stats.

    So here we go (apologies if you’ve got an *, I borrowed you to make my point):
    Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Michael Reynolds
    Not the IT Dept.
    *An Interested Party
    *Just nutha ignint cracker

    20 posters – a 5% death rate means at least one of us is dead, likely you since you don’t seem to be taking this seriously. If it’s as high as @Monala notes, that’s you and three other posters. Now if we were discussing flu deaths in 2019, it’s less than 1% (high numbers are 62,000 deaths from 56,000,000 cases = 0.11% fatalities), that more than 1 in 100. Meaning we’d all likely be fine or I’d need to list a hell of a lot more names. I’m not sure we even *have* 100 regular posters I can cite.

    Do you get it now? You poo-poo *only* 5% die but that’s really, really, REALLY high in this day and age for an illness, especially an infectious disease. You people are just bad with math and comprehension if you’re happy that 95% survive – it should be 99.9999999999999999999999999% with the deaths being the horrible outlier instead of a predictable regular outcome.

  30. Nightcrawler says:

    I know only one person who died from COVID-19. One of my friends lost her little girl. She was only eight years old.

    I know at least a half-dozen people who are long-haulers. One of them found out just yesterday that he has permanent lung damage. Another lady was left with permanent heart problems.

    COVID-19 is like cancer in that it’s not just a matter of dying or recovering. I was lucky. I still have my breasts, and they’re not mutilated. A lot of five-year survivors can’t say the same. Some of them have permanent health problems from chemotherapy, radiation, or mastectomy. Mastectomy is a brutal surgery, and it’s not unusual for patients to be left with lifetime back and shoulder pain.

  31. Joe says:

    @charon: I can’t wait for the pictures of the Resolute Desk with plexiglass screwed onto the sides and a slot in front to push documents through.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Side Note: Does anyone else feel a loss of energy in dealing with Trumpaloons like clown boy here? It’s like it started out as war, very existential, but now it’s like we’re just wandering the battlefield mercy killing the wounded.

    The comparison that I would make is closer to the Zombie Apocalypse, but I live in a Congressional District that went 69% for Trump and where the Trumpie incumbent actually probably is the more qualified candidate.

  33. Nightcrawler says:


    If planes crashed “only” 5% of the time, nobody would ever fly again.

    About 87,000 flights take off per day in the U.S.

    If “only” 5% of them crashed, that would be 4,350 flights going down every day.

    Now, let’s take it down to “only” 1%. That’s still 870 crashes a day.

    But hey, muh 99% survival rate!

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: The nurse who tests you may well be a gig worker who is seen as infinitely replacable. I would hope not, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  35. Flat earth luddite says:

    @charon: 7@CSK:

    Bet that the first staffer coming in wearing bunny suit and/or ppe gets chased out of the room by screaming noises from Orangeade… Or stripped by fellow staffers. 5:1 odds. Any takers?

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Ivanka is a mom with young children. I’m not going to fault her for wanting to be around to watch them grow up. Some things are even more important than the grift. Even for sociopaths.

  37. Nightcrawler says:

    I’ve never heard conservatives specify how high a death rate would have to be for them to be concerned about a disease. 10%? 20%? 50%? Higher?

    I don’t know how many people are killed in hurricanes each year, but I’m certain it’s fewer people than are killed by the flu. Maybe we should just stop evacuating people, being as the flu is “deadlier” than hurricanes.

    That Cat 4 headed towards LA? NBD. More people die in car crashes!

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Nightcrawler: Nah. I would still do it. But for my situation (chronic asthma), there’s an old joke.

    Most asthmatics die either from emphysema or complications from pneumonia. The rest die in airplane crashes.

    Always wanting to be unique, I’d need to go for Plan B.

  39. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: Other people have taken apart your incorrect statistics, so I will only note that I hope your 20-something friends do not have any of the long-term organ damage that is quite common with Covid, even in the younger cases.

    One other thing: There’s a difference between hysteria and basic precautions. There’s a case to be made for what should be reopened when based on risks, rewards, capacity at hospitals, and the ability to do case tracking.

    But, covid parties at the White House are a poor choice. Not wearing marks is a poor choice. Opening bars before schools is a poor choice.

    And, since the damage done isn’t contained to the individual, a lot of these choices shouldn’t be individual choices — we don’t let people make an individual choice on driving drunk, after all.

    Eh, one more: If enough people get covid because we don’t act to contain it, and suffer from the long term health consequences, we will have government run health care (nothing motivates the mushy middle like pocketbook issues, and long-term organ damage is expensive to treat, so that will be the tipping point), and your taxes will help pay for that.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Nightcrawler: It’s not the deaths that bother conservatives in hurricanes, it’s the property damage and subsequent loss of capital/opportunity cost of rebuilding. Priorities.

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    Opening bars before schools is a poor choice.

    HEY! WATCH IT!! If the bars aren’t open, I’ll have to drink myself into oblivion at home, and people may start to wonder if I’m an alcoholic. At a bar, I’m just a bro having “too good a time.” Appearances are important.

  42. inhumans99 says:

    Thank you folks for pointing out how dumb it is to say that high risk patients/very old individuals who get Covid only have a 5% chance of dying so why all the drama Holy cow, it should scare the shit out of JKB that this disease can potentially kill 5% of the people who get the disease…I know it scares me and I turn 50 next year and indeed am currently healthy.

    It feels like a large swath of folks in this country are still on the bender they started the night before and have woken up and just continued to remain drunk having not yet sobered up. It should be a sobering statistic to learn that for the most vulnerable to Covid there is a 5% chance of dying or ending up with a permanent problem (such as lack of taste/smell, lung issues, etc.).

    Someone who can get through to the base needs to start scaring them right now. It is way past the point of ridiculous that the White House recorded more case of Covid this past week than the entirety of countries like New Zealand or Taiwan.

    Seriously, at what point to folks start to sober up and take this seriously?

  43. Kingdaddy says:

    Instant access to rapid testing is exactly what the beneficiary of that testing has wanted to “slow down” (i.e., prevent) for all the little people.

  44. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Are you saying that Ivanka doesn’t believe Daddy when he says that Covid-19 is no biggie?

  45. Mikey says:

    Looks like we may have to add diabetes to the potential after-effects of COVID-19…

    A Global Data Effort Probes Whether Covid Causes Diabetes
    Dozens of case reports have hinted that the coronavirus might trigger the onset of diabetes in people with no history of the disease.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Uhh… Pretty much. Yeah.

  47. inhumans99 says:

    I wish I could have edited my post instead of creating another comment, but does anyone remember the HBO show The Leftovers? Basically, I never read the book but saw the first season…about 2% of the world population disappears pretty much in the blink of an eye and of course the show is about the ramifications of such a global event (well, not really…it focuses on a pretty narrow band of characters but yes, there are hints that such an event would have far reaching consequences if that many people died all at once).

    Imagine if every country just let Covid overwhelm them and shrugged their shoulders and said eh, it is just a max of 5% of our citizens who might die so we will just work around the illness and continue life as usual. 5% of the world’s population is over 400 million people, imagine if inside of 12-24 months there were more dead from Covid than there are citizens in the United States Of America?

    Granted, this is the case if everyone was in the highest risk category and fell into the 5% tier of people who are likely to die and if no steps were taken by any country to mitigate the effects of Covid on their citizens but it does help you understand why you can tell yourself you are not being a silly billy by acknowledging that you are a bit scared of Covid and that it would be really freaking nice if we started to hear of more people in a position of authority in the U.S. who were not downplaying the pandemic.

  48. charon says:

    @a country lawyer:

    According to Leon Panetta, One of President Obama’s Chief Staff there is a fully operational office in the residence, so there is no need to use the oval office.

    It’s all about optics, projecting an image, kayfabe. Oval office to maximize the hoped for effect.

    @Flat earth luddite:

    Bet that the first staffer coming in wearing bunny suit and/or ppe gets chased out of the room by screaming noises from Orangeade… Or stripped by fellow staffers. 5:1 odds. Any takers?

    The optics of ppe would be awful.

  49. Kathy says:

    If herd immunity takes 70% of the population catching the infection, and the death rate is 3% overall, that would mean around 231 million cases, and 6.9 million deaths for the US alone.

    Someone should warn Trump against hubris. You know, “Mission Accomplished!” or “Peace in Our Time!” or even “Blue Wall.” If his condition worsens, he may die looking like a fool (I have been warned against hubris, you see). If he ends up with long haul COVID syndrome, he’ll likely never live it down.

  50. Kingdaddy says:

    We can debate whether Trump’s current level of mania and derangement is the result of his current medications, anxiety in the face of his declining re-election chances, the culmination of his cognitive decline, or some combination of all three. However, the President of the United States is not in control of himself. That is terrifying.

  51. charon says:


    Diabetes is a risk factor for many other diseases: Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers, blindness, limb amputations and more.

  52. Mikey says:

    Trump’s doctor is saying Trump has had no COVID symptoms for over 24 hours. He was released from the hospital less than 48 hours ago.

    So what do you suppose is really going on?

    1. Antibody treatment + remdesivir + dexamethasone = a real miracle cure
    2. Trump is riding a steroid high and will hit the wall in a week
    3. Trump is actually still symptomatic and they’re lying their asses off
    4. Trump never had the thing to start with

    Honestly, I don’t know at this point. Given this White House’s track record, who can even guess? It’s infuriating.

  53. charon says:

    @Flat earth luddite:

    Trump is unlikely to grasp that staff not using ppe in the presence of an infectious/contagious boss would not be great optics either.

  54. Jen says:

    @charon: This is different.

    The Wired piece says that the covid-onset diabetes is showing signs associated with both Type 1 (an autoimmune disease) and Type 2.

    It’s not that diabetes is a risk factor, it’s that covid is *causing* people to develop diabetes. This isn’t that far-fetched a notion (in fact, I know of one person who did not have celiac disease (also an autoimmune disease) before her covid diagnosis, recovered from covid, and now tests positive for celiac).

    It’s been observed that many children who develop Type 1 diabetes had recently recovered from a viral illness. The hypothesis is that the viral illness caused an over-reaction by the immune system, causing it to attack the beta cells in the pancreas.

    If covid triggers autoimmune disease, add that to the list of pre-existing conditions that will ultimately break the bank in health care.

  55. Mikey says:

    Trump’s doctor is also touting the presence of antibodies, but didn’t they pump him up with like 8 grams of Regeneron’s antibody treatment? OF COURSE you’ll have antibodies after you get INJECTED WITH THEM. It doesn’t mean he’s producing his own.

    Or is there something I’m missing?

  56. Jen says:

    Dang–no edit button.

    @charon: on a re-read, we might be saying the same thing. If so, mea culpa!

  57. gVOR08 says:


    doesn’t justify national edicts or promised presidential edicts for the destruction of the economy and the economic lives of people in low incidence areas.

    Let’s set aside that low incidence areas have a nasty habit of turning into high incidence areas (ND). Do nothing or destroy the economy are not the only options. That’s the same false dichotomy GOPs use to fight action on AGW.

  58. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @charon: This is THE key to understanding Trump. He only acknowledges the reality he WANTS to happen…the reality that occurs. He will always redefine what actually occurs in terms of (his) best case as reality unfolds.

    Its not so much that he lies from a traditional standpoint.. its that he believes his projections are actually shaping reality to different degrees.

    Unorthodox way to live but its worked for him and he will never change.

  59. Jen says:

    @Mikey: Either that or they are admitting Trump has had covid for longer than they disclosed. Or both?

    I’m not a doctor but I would think giving someone antibody treatment would cause antibodies to show up. Is there a way of differentiating them?

  60. dazedandconfused says:

    Don’t feel bad. When they toss the kitchen sink at a case like that they aren’t looking for data. If Trump is well the docs themselves don’t know if it was his immune system or if one of the drugs stopped it.

  61. Teve says:

    @Jen: sometimes there’s no edit button, but if you refresh, one appears.

  62. Jen says:

    @Teve: Yes, but sadly not this time. It seems…ephemeral.

  63. Kathy says:


    Is there a way of differentiating them?


    Antibodies are proteins. Proteins are very complex molecules, dependent on specific shapes to function. But biology is messy. Perhaps antibodies vary from person to person.

    trump got monoclonal antibodies, meaning they are produced by a single B-cell line in the lab. It’s possible these could differ slightly from those produced naturally.

  64. Kylopod says:



    his extraordinarily robust constitution

    I thought the spin was also you too can beat this disease if you have a positive attitude and don’t submit to it.

    Trump is really into Norman Vincent Peale and “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

    You’re both right, of course. The pro-Trump narrative is not internally consistent, but it’s a lot like social Darwinism, where you succeed according to what you put into it, but what you put into it comes ultimately from your abilities which were predetermined anyway. Similarly, beating Covid comes from maintaining a positive attitude, but no one maintains a positive attitude better than Orange Jesus, which has to do with his extraordinary constitution. So he can be inspirational while still imploring you to kiss his golden ass. Isn’t that the case for most of the self-help people?

  65. Mikey says:


    3. Trump is actually still symptomatic and they’re lying their asses off

    Consider that Trump hasn’t spoken “live” in any form since returning to the White House. No interviews, no live video, not even his usual morning call to Fox and Friends. Just tweets.

    If he’s truly been asymptomatic for over a day, why haven’t we seen or heard him?

  66. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey: Given that he was having trouble breathing on the balcony during his Covita moment, and that everyone else at the White House has Covid, I think we can drop the “He never had it” speculation.

  67. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher: Agreed. I really never bought that theory anyway, and seeing him sucking wind after climbing a few stairs convinced me he actually has it.

  68. charon says:


    It’s not that diabetes is a risk factor, it’s that covid is *causing* people to develop diabetes.

    To clarify:

    A person who develops diabetes then has an increased likelihood of developing the diseases I cited, or a likelihood of developing them at a younger age.


    A whole thread on respiratory distress.

    I watched the video of Trump on the balcony.

    Here is what I saw:

    -Extra-respiratory muscles to breathe.
    -Visible chest wall rise.
    -Open mouth breathing at times.
    -Rapid shallow breaths at roughly 25-30 breaths per minute. More than twice normal.

    This is respiratory distress.

    Blockquote is from the first tweet, scroll down there are more.

  69. charon says:


    sucking wind after climbing a few stairs convinced me he actually has it.

    You could suck wind after climbing stairs for a brief time just from being out of shape, as Trump obviously is.

    Difficulty breathing for a lengthy period, though, as per his balcony show, is something else.

  70. CSK says:

    I agree with you about this; Trump is so out-of-shape that the slightest exertion tires him. Remember several years ago when he insisted on driving a golf cart while the other world leaders walked from one point to another? It wasn’t by any means a vast distance, but he either couldn’t manage it on foot, or he wanted to make some half-assed point about dominance and superiority: “I ride when the peasants walk!” Or both. He knew he couldn’t walk without collapsing, which would be showing extreme weakness. So he demanded a golf cart.

  71. Jen says:

    Doctors/viral researchers on Twitter pretty much laughing at the “he has antibodies!” news. Apparently this is to be expected given the antibody cocktail he received.

  72. Hal_10000 says:

    This has been the breaking point for me. I’ve disagree with Trump on most things, thought he was abusing his power, wanted him to leave. But this is the first I’m actually livid. For a man with most elite care in the world to tell millions of uninsured people — millions of people *he made* uninsured — the COVID is no big deal … it’s a level of sociopathy and malignant narcissism I’ve never seen before.

  73. KM says:

    @Hal_10000 :

    Sadly, some of us have seen this before – that’s why we’ve been screaming about what an abusive monster he is for years now. It’s kinda like watching a horror movie and yelling at the screen for the people to not walk into the trap. You can see it because you have the contextual clues they don’t and know what to look for; more importantly, you know you watching a horror film and you know exactly what gonna happen. There may be a twist or turn you weren’t expecting but it’s a *horror* film so there’s only so many ways it can go.

    We’re at the part where everyone dies, btw. One way or another, bad things happen to pretty much everybody and there’s no way to stop it. Trump gets a second term and we’re all screwed, he gets ACB on the bench and we’re all screwed, he loses and decides to burn us all on the way out, he and his decide to cause unprecedented constitutional crises just to grift some more, COVID rages unchecked and we start seeing deaths cross half a million – there’s very little good ahead in the coming months. Only a few survive horror movies and never unscathed….

  74. Monala says:

    @Jen: One reply said, “They are lying, or they are lying.” IANAD, so I assume the reasons they give are valid: It takes 2 weeks to produce your own antibodies, so either: 1) they’re not his antibodies, just the ones from the therapy; or 2) he’s been sicker longer than they admit.

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey: I’ll go with choice 3. Choice 2 is certainly a possibility, but the whole lifting his shoulders to breathe/rapid, open mouthed breathing thing is a piece of the Covid “shortness of breath” symptom.

  76. Nightcrawler says:


    for the most vulnerable to Covid there is a 5% chance of dying or ending up with a permanent problem (such as lack of taste/smell, lung issues, etc.).

    It’s worse than that. Nobody knows how many survivors will become “long-haulers.”

    That’s what I fear. Not death from COVID-19, but permanent organ damage and disability.

    I fear it so much that I won’t get tested unless I develop symptoms. If I got tested and came back positive, I’d have a mental meltdown. There is no reason for me to do that to myself unless I actually become ill.

    I don’t see myself as “weak” or “fearful” for feeling this way. If you’re not afraid of permanent organ damage and disability, you’re not “strong.” You’re an idiot and a liar. If it actually happens, that brave facade will melt away, and you’ll piss your pants. I’ve seen formerly “brave” people go over a mental cliff after hearing the word “cancer.”

  77. Monala says:

    #WhereIsTrump is trending on Twitter, because people are noting that he hasn’t been seen in two days, even though he’s tweeting. In response, people are starting to ask about the whereabouts of other folks who haven’t been seen: Bill Barr and Javanka.

  78. Kathy says:


    Remember several years ago when he insisted on driving a golf cart while the other world leaders walked from one point to another?

    I do. i wasn’t posting here then, but elsewhere I made a comparison to Reagan.

    When he was shot, he walked out of the limo, coughing up blood, and into the hospital. Trump couldn’t make it up a slope.

  79. CSK says:

    Given that he’s old, he’s fat, he’s hopelessly out-of-shape, and has who knows what else wrong with him that’s being concealed from us, I find it difficult to believe that he’s had a miraculous recovery from Covid.

  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Let me remove a little bit of the mystery as to who’s next: If I get it, I’m dead.

  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: they’re always lying their asses off. That should not be among the choices.

  82. Jen says:

    @CSK: I find it highly suspect as well. It’s weird. I suppose not entirely implausible, but I am surprised that he’s up and about.

    Chris Christie remains in the hospital, where he’s been since Saturday. No word on his condition.

  83. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hal_10000: Obviously, you never met my ex.

  84. CSK says:

    Christie is 58, which is in his favor. Against him is the fact that he’s morbidly obese. And he may have other conditions consonant with obesity of which we’re unaware.

    I, too, find it a bit odd that we haven’t been updated on his condition, although didn’t he say something about keeping those who needed to know abreast of it?

    I’m sure it would never occur to Trump to call and ask about Christie’s health.

  85. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fair point. More appropriately, it should be “in addition to lying their asses off, which of the following…”

  86. Joe says:

    Of course, Kathy, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech after being shot in an assassination attempt but before going to the hospital to have the bullet removed. That was a badass move!

  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: didn’t he say something about keeping those who needed to know abreast of it?

    Yes, he did.

    @Mikey: Jus’ sayin’…. 😉

  88. Kathy says:

    The Regeneron antibody mix is still in clinical trials, not available to the public. When it is, here’s a link to the prices of other monoclonal antibodies in the market.

    As you can see, they cover a wide range, but tend to the expensive side.

    This treatment seems to have great potential. It would also be the first COVID-19 treatment specifically developed for COVID-19. Of course it’s going to be expensive.

    The market is both global and huge, but not as big as that for a vaccine. For the latter, we’re talking billions of doses, perhaps every year. For antibodies is seems like a one dose deal, for millions of people; which may disappear if vaccines work well. the development costs and massive subsidies have to be paid off somehow; not to mention investors pouring money on the company will want stock buybacks later.

  89. flat earth luddite says:


    it’s a level of sociopathy and malignant narcissism I’ve never seen before

    Well, I’ve seen it a number of times. Fortunately, except for Orangeade, if they’re still alive, they’ll die in prison.

  90. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kathy: I left you a comment on the “Covid National Security Thread”. It gives you the published (clinical designator for this trial.
    I suspect what you are reading are the press releases regeneron gives to the media.
    The regeneron ceo suggested that Trump is in a “single patient trial”
    See the other thread for more. (Search for “Bob” to find my comments

  91. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the info.


    I suspect what you are reading are the press releases regeneron gives to the media.

    Partly. Most is what the media writes about them, which I concede isn’t much. The reason is I don’t know enough to follow technical papers.

    I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about it. I recall reading about antibody development months ago, then a brief item about Regeneron a couple of weeks back. It seemed like the most promising treatment from the beginning.

    That said, a “single-patient trial” is not a real trial. You can’t generalize from one patient, as regards either safety or efficacy beyond that patient.

  92. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Agree, I fairly fell outa my chair when I heard the CEO’s dodge on compassionate use!

    Regards the trial(s), the clinical site is a good beginning place, but the details are meager. Credit to Pfizer and Moderna for making their full protocol available to the public. Moderna even has a public webpage that displays the current participant enrollment.

  93. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Checked on Moderna Phase 3, just now:
    As of 10/2/20 at 5pm, 28,043 participants enrolled of 30,000 target.
    same time: 19,300 had received their 2nd vaccination.
    28K participants:
    49% Hispanic or Latino
    26% Black
    11% Asian
    10% White