'Time will tell': PeaceHealth doctor talks Trump diagnosis

Dr. Bob Pelz said Trump is in an age group that is at higher risk, but only time will tell how severe his case will be.

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 7:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Catching coronavirus can happen to anyone, doctors say, and President Donald Trump's recent diagnosis shows that no one is completely in the clear.


Dr. Bob Pelz is the director of infectious disease for PeaceHealth. He said that when an individual becomes infected with COVID-19, there’s a wide spectrum to what can happen.

“Some people have absolutely no symptoms at all, go about their business and don't notice anything,” Pelz said. "Some people get terribly sick and are hospitalized for critical care.”

He said the period between becoming infected and then showing symptoms is between two to 14 days, so there’s a chance Trump could have been exposed within the last couple weeks or even just days ago.

“He could get completely better within a few days, or he could get quite a bit more ill,” Pelz said. “He’s in an age group where the risk is clearly higher. So, I think time will tell. We probably won't know for a week or so how this will really work out.”

While new treatment options are currently being sought after, there is one medication being used right now that has been described as “well-tolerated” for patients.

“There are only a handful of things that have been proven to really help with COVID,” Pelz said. “One is a drug called remdesivir that kills the virus itself. That only seems to benefit people that are sick enough to need oxygen.”

He said that mask use and social distancing do make a difference because this disease can hit anybody.

“I think that this illustrates that nobody is really saved from this,” Pelz said. “I'm sure the president has a lot of protections and safeguards around him that you and I don't have, but he still got infected. I think it points out the importance of wearing a mask. We know that that works."

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