Donald Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19, Joins Growing List of World Leaders Diagnosed

by Jennifer Shea

President Trump is not the first world leader to get the coronavirus, and he probably won’t be the last.

As he braces himself for a coronavirus convalescence, the president joins a growing list of world leaders afflicted with the potentially deadly bug, the Associated Press reported. Here are some of them:

Donald Trump

The president is 74, and his age puts him in the higher-risk group. Trump’s past statements on coronavirus are now drawing scrutiny. CBS News possesses a timeline showing that Trump, in the early days of the virus, compared it to the flu, and suggested that the flu was a bigger problem. Then a friend of his came down with COVID-19, and his tone changed.

“This is not the flu,” he said at a subsequent briefing. “It is vicious.”

Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a very public proponent of hydroxychloroquine. And when he contracted COVID-19 in July, he used the opportunity to push the malaria drug even more. He reportedly also took it himself. 

Brazil is dealing with a wide spread of the coronavirus, but Bolsonaro has backed protesters of lockdown and quarantine measures. Bolsonaro is at a full recovery after issues from the virus this summer.

Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Johnson continues to face criticism for the handling of the virus in the UK. Early on, he relied on advisors who advocated the controversial “herd immunity” approach. That theory holds that the virus needs to make its way through the population, killing some, until enough people have had it that many are immune. But since he himself got the coronavirus and had to endure a stay in the hospital, Johnson has reversed course.

“I know that some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course, despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail,” Johnson said this week. “I have to say, I profoundly disagree.”  

Alexander Lukashenko

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko continues to get attention for suggesting people drink vodka to ward off the virus. He got it himself in July, but was asymptomatic.

Under Lukashenko’s leadership, Belarus is not taking any precautions to deal with the virus. Health care experts there have warned that the country’s coronavirus death toll, already among the highest in Europe, is being systematically underreported. 

Prince Albert II

Prince Albert of Monaco was the first head of state to publicly announce he was infected. Albert II is now fine, recovering from the virus in late March. but said he had a lingering cough.