SENIORS, OLDER AND WISER by June Michel
PRESIDENT TRUMP IS A SENIOR WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH RISKS AND POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Of course we wish both Trump and the First Lady a full and speedy recovery. Trump made many seniors angry when he referred to elderly people as nobodies in the following statement regarding coronavirus. "Now we know it affects elderly people, people with heart problems, people with other problems. It affects virtually nobody under 18, it affects virtually nobody.” But by becoming the COVID-19 poster child for what not to do Trump has raised some important questions.
WHAT IF TRUMP TEMPORARILY CAN'T WORK? As of today his doctors have not indicated Trump is incapacitated. However, should that occur, the steps are set out in the Constitution. Under the 25th Amendment, if the president cannot perform his duties, he will temporarily surrender his power to the vice president. Then when the president has recovered and has provided a written declaration to that effect, he can resume his duties. WHY ARE THEY CALLING THE ROSE GARDEN EVENT ON MONDAY A SUPER SPREADER? This Rose Garden event was attended by over 100 guests including members of congress. Guests were seated theatre style, side by side. After the event they embraced, shook hands, had face to face conversations and almost no one wore a face mask. Just days later, on Thursday, Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Friday, Trump acknowledged that both he and his wife had tested positive. At least 8 of the Rose Garden guests have now tested positive. WOULD WEARING FACEMASKS HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE? Experts are in agreement that if the Rose Garden guests had been wearing masks and socially distanced we might have avoided this outcome. They point out that wearing a mask is effective at both cutting down the amount of spray leaving the speaker's mouth and, importantly, cutting down on the listener's exposure to infected droplets. Infectious disease experts site COVID-19 studies showing that infection caused by direct contact with infected droplets leads to more serious illness. WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT IS TRUMP RECEIVING? What we know of Trump's treatment is interesting. There is no cure for COVID-19. His doctors have given him every potential treatment available including: 1. The steroid dexamethasone to hold down inflammation 2. The single dose Friday of an experimental drug RegN-COV2 from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that supplies antibodies 3. Friday he started a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients who are hospitalized and require oxygen. 4. Oxygen and hospitalization IS MIXING ALL THESE DRUGS A NORMAL TREATMENT PLAN? Actually, no. To date there have been no clinical trials that can predict the benefit or outcome of combining all these drugs at once. On the other hand seniors can slip away quickly from COVID-19 and this is the President of the United States. But the cautious approach to drug approval by the FDA is an essential safeguard to the public's health. Many of us recall the terrible results from the drug Thalidomide. As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI, "Thalidomide was a widely used drug in the late 1950s and early 1960s for the treatment of nausea in pregnant women. It became apparent in the 1960s that thalidomide treatment resulted in severe birth defects in thousands of children." BUT WHAT IF THE WORST HAPPENS? That would surely be a sad, preventable outcome. The presidential line of succession goes as follows: if the president is deceased, Vice President Pence would rise to presidency. If both the president and vice president are deceased the presidency passes to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House. *Remember, you read it in The Facts Newspaper