Will Trump's swift return to work come back to haunt him?

Research suggests that prematurely returning to "business as usual" can contribute to prolonged coronavirus symptoms.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Trump soldiering on
Trump soldiering on
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Donald Trump, returning to work after just three days in hospital, was noticeably breathless after climbing the steps to the White House before addressing the public. It is believed that he contracted the coronavirus at a Rose Garden event eight days previously, which is why many medical experts have criticized what they feel is a premature resumption of his duties.

According to many public health officials, the danger zone for coronavirus occurs between five and ten days after symptoms are first noticed. This tallies with what happened to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed back in April. At first, he attempted to put a brave face on his diagnosis, speaking to the public via video-link, visibly haggard but tenaciously hanging on. Ten days after his coronavirus was confirmed, he was taken to hospital with a persistent cough and fever and ended up on oxygen and teetering between life and death.

Trump’s doctors claim that he has improved considerably since his first symptoms emerged though he is “not yet out of the woods,” but it may be too soon to predict the future course of his disease and his insistence that he’ll be “back on the campaign trail soon” may return to haunt him.

According to Dr. William Schaffner, an expert in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical School, Trump’s insistence that he’s back to normal and can resume his presidential role conveys a “dangerous” message, The Telegraph writes. “The biology and virology don’t reward you for being a macho person,” Dr. Pankhania of Exeter University adds, warning that fatigue is there for a reason and that before two weeks are up, it’s best to lie low.

If everything goes well by then, experts say, and you no longer have fever, it’s safe to reenter society. The caveat is that it’s safe for others – they won’t contract coronavirus from you – but it might be better for you, personally, to take it easy for a bit longer. “Typically, recovery from respiratory viral infections takes two to three weeks,” says Dr. Jeffrey A. Woods, an expert on exercise and its effect on the immune system. “This corresponds with the time it takes your immune system to generate T-cells to clear the virus.”

According to The Telegraph, there are already several small studies, in addition to anecdotal evidence, suggesting that prematurely resuming exercise and strenuous activity may be linked to what is known as “long Covid” – coronavirus symptoms that linger for weeks or even months. Their report cites a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University who tracked 26 young, healthy athletes who had recently recovered from Covid-19. Four of them were found to display evidence of heart inflammation. Another study conducted by researchers at King’s College London with the health-science company ZOE, followed data collected from over four million people and found that 10% of people who contracted coronavirus displayed symptoms for a month, while 2% were still experiencing symptoms three months later.