By Frances Weller | October 2, 2020 at 2:22 PM EDT – Updated October 3 at 8:37 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – When Dr. Philip Brown, chief physician at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, learned early Friday morning that President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, he says his first thought was he hoped he’d be alright. Then after learning First Lady Melania Trump was positive, too, he hoped people would finally understand anyone can contract the virus.
“You’re looking at a couple that is among the most protected individuals in the world and they are now positive for COVID-19,” Brown said. “So, it’s a really big sign to all of us to take very seriously the measures that we know can reduce our chances of getting COVID 19 which are primarily around masks, social distancing, hand washing and still avoiding gatherings.”
President Trump has repeatedly gone to public events not wearing a mask. Brown believes that’s what led to his exposure to the virus.
“There’s no question that wearing a mask would reduce the odds of President Trump or any other individual coming in contact with the virus, so I think the answer to that is an unequivocal yes—it was a factor,” he said.
Brown says President Trump’s age is a risk factor but not necessarily an alarming one.
“We’ve seen this virus kill very young people—very healthy people and totally spare elderly people on up to people who are over 100 years old,” Brown said. “We really don’t know, but we do know he has a risk factor of age. We also know that he has access to the highest levels of healthcare possible in the world and so that’s a very positive factor that certainly is in the favor of President Trump and his family.”
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