HEALTH WATCH: Leading Democratic Candidates Most at Risk of Dying From Coronavirus, According to Science

March 6, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, it's important to believe in science. One thing science tells us about the coronavirus is that both Democrats vying to take on President Donald J. Trump in the general election are in the age group (elderly AF) most at risk of dying from the disease.

Former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) are both very old—too old even to be considered Baby Boomers—and either one would make history as the oldest president ever if elected. Biden will turn 78 in November, while Sanders will turn 79 in September. According to science, that's not a good thing in terms of one's vulnerability to coronavirus.

Dr. Adam Kucharski, a mathematician at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in an interview with the New York Times pointed out "the risk of severe disease and fatality, particularly in older groups, in the over-70s, over-80s," posed by coronavirus.

"Overall we're seeing maybe 1 percent of symptomatic cases are fatal across all ages. There's still some uncertainty on that, but what's also important is that 1 percent isn't evenly distributed," said Kucharski. "In younger groups, we're talking perhaps 0.1 percent, which means that when you get into the older groups, you're potentially talking about 5 percent, 10 percent of cases being fatal."

According to the China Center for Disease Control, the fatality rate for coronavirus patients over the age of 80 is nearly 15 percent. China CDC also reported a significantly higher fatality rate among male patients (2.8 percent) than female patients (1.7 percent). This scientific data could ultimately prove crucial in helping Hillary Clinton, 72, make the case that she is the least risky candidate at a contested Democratic convention in Milwaukee.

President Trump, a man of legendary physical and intellectual stamina, once described by a leading medical expert as "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency," remains a heavy favorite to win reelection in 2020 and beyond. Absent a last-minute intervention by Clinton, the 73-year-old Trump will be the youngest candidate in the race. It will be up to voters to decide whether America will continue to be great or slide backward under a virus-afflicted chief executive into the ash heap of history.