In a press conference today, President Trump addressed questions from reporters regarding the fact that three of the top officials of the Coronavirus response have decided to self-quarantine after coming into contact with a member of Vice-President Pence’s staff that tested positive on Friday. The officials are Dr. Anthony Fauci (Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease), Dr. Stephen Hahn (Food and Drug Administration Commissioner) and Dr. Robert Redfield (Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director). The officials have currently tested negative, but are practicing self-quarantining as a precautionary step. In response to the question, the president stated that there “wasn’t a break down” in protecting officials and that the outbreak among the staff was “well contained.”
Later in the press conference, a Chinese-American reporter asked President Trump why he feels it’s a global competition when it comes to testing since he has stated many times that the United States is doing better than any other country when it comes to this but every day American lives are still being lost and new cases are increasing. The president responded, “Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world and maybe that is something that you should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, okay.” He then tried to move on to another reporter, but the first pressed on by asking why he would say that to her specifically, he replied, “I’m not saying it specifically to anyone. I’m saying it to anyone who would ask a nasty question like that.” The second reporter then tried to ask her questions, but the president pointed to someone else and said, “Next, please.” When the second reporter pointed out that he was skipping her, Trump immediately ended the press conference.
As the President continues with trying to turn a public health issue into a political issue, scientists are trying to find a solution to the why men are more likely to be infected and have worse cases of illness than women. A recently released study from 11 European countries found that men have higher blood levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which means that they’re body’s have more receptors. The thought is the virus uses these receptors to get inside cells. The study contained over 2,000 elderly men and women who had heart failure, but were not infected with COVID-19. The participants were taking common blood pressure medications to block the effects of this enzyme. The researchers point out that none of the individuals had higher levels of ACE2. The study indicates that the medicines don’t increase the risk of contracting the virus. This supports earlier evidence about the medications.