CTV News / YouTube Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID 1585329086.jpg...
CTV News / YouTube

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus, he announced Friday, just weeks after cavalierly declaring that he was still “shaking hands with everybody” and downplaying warnings about the deadly virus coming from public health officials and scientists.

“I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus,” said Johnson.

Johnson, 55, is the first major world leader and the second high-ranking British official after Prince Charles to test positive for the disease. The Daily Beast reported Friday that it was not yet known if Johnson had been in contact with the prince or Queen Elizabeth.

Just weeks ago, Johnson told reporters at a press briefing that he was continuing to shake hands with everyone he meets, including during a recent visit to a hospital where some patients were known to have the virus.

Watch:

Critics of Johnson noted the prime minister’s previous dismissal of the need for social distancing.

“Boris Johnson has it,” tweeted Intercept journalist Mehdi Hasan. “A few weeks ago he was boasting about shaking the hands of coronavirus victims in a U.K. hospital.”

According to Bloomberg, Johnson’s announcement Friday of his infection added to economic instability in European markets and continuing mistrust of U.K. efforts to handle the disease:

The disclosure adds to the uncertainty over the British government’s response to the coronavirus, which had already been criticized for being too slow. The pound erased its gains against the dollar after Johnson’s announcement, while European stocks extended their losses.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Friday also announced he had contracted the disease, adding to confusion and instability around the government’s response.

The prime minister’s infection proves that the disease does not discriminate, said outgoing Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn in a tweet wishing Johnson well.

“Coronavirus can and does affect anyone,” Corbyn said. “Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else.”

Liked it? Take a second to support Associate Editor on Patreon!

This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Trump needs to catch the virus, and find out how hard it will be to get a ventilator
    Of course he will get one……. he is the president, don’t worry about others

  2. Well congratulations BOREASS, you’ve
    received your prize for stupidity ( well deserved)!
    along w/Trump !
    You two can now HUG each other , without fear !
    Before this is over , I believe trump will say he’s had Coronavirus all along ,but was to strong for it to bother
    him ! A
    Which may mean , he’s the “biggest carrier“ of the bug .

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here