Current estimates suggest that symptoms, if they do appear, could occur as early as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
If Trump only develops mild symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, it could take a week to recover. A serious illness, which could mean the development of lung lesions and pneumonia, could require hospitalization, possible ventilation, and months of treatment.
“You couldn’t determine a specific time,” said Dominic Dwyer, a medical virologist at the University of Sydney. “Regardless of what you think of politics, you wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
Treatment will depend on the severity of your illness
Experts agree that Trump’s treatment regimen will depend on whether he develops symptoms in the next few days.
As long as he has no or limited symptoms, it will be enough to maintain a comfortable environment in which he can be isolated for 14 days and be regularly evaluated by doctors.
Of course, there is still no cure for COVID-19. But if Trump develops pneumonia and respiratory failure and other signs of a more serious condition, a number of treatments that have been widely used by doctors and nurses would be available to him.
Remdesivir, an antiviral drug designed to treat both hepatitis and a common respiratory virus, has been shown to be helpful in treating seriously ill patients. A steroid called dexamethasone has also reduced mortality in these patients, according to scientists at the University of Oxford.
Elsie Chen contributed reporting.
Sui-Lee Wee is a correspondent for The New York Times in the Beijing office. He has covered China for nearly a decade and writes on social issues, gender, genetic surveillance, healthcare, and the intersection of demographics and the economy. @suilee