It isn’t just the elderly who are at risk of serious illness when infected with the novel coronavirus. Younger people with underlying conditions are also in that high risk category, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the CITIZEN by CNN event on Tuesday.
“It isn’t just the elderly and those with underlying conditions,” Fauci said. “Because it can be serious in young people.”
Quantitatively, “for sure,” it’s much less serious as a group in young people, he said, but it is important to remember that there are many people in all age groups who have underlying conditions.
“And if you look at the two groups that are at risk for serious conditions, it’s the elderly and people at any age with underlying conditions,” he said. “Underlining any age.”
If you’re a younger person with an underlying condition such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension or heart disease, “You are in the risk category for a serious disease,” he said.
The people with underlying conditions make up a substantial proportion of the population, Fauci said.
“So, don’t just think the elderly are the problem,” he said. “True, people with underlying conditions, but those are not just isolated to the elderly. There are plenty of younger people who have underlying conditions that put them at risk.”
Fauci's comments come a day after President Trump falsely claimed the virus affects "nobody young."
"We now know the disease; we didn't know it. Now we know it — it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that's what it really affects. In some states, it affects thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody," Trump said at a rally in Swanton, Ohio, last night.