From Washington to Berlin to Madrid, politicians across the globe have been or may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
On April 6 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after being admitted a day earlier. Johnson tested positive for the respiratory illness March 27, the first major world leader to publicly acknowledge having COVID-19.
Here’s our watch list of presidents, prime ministers and supreme leaders who have been tested or may be at risk for infection.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israel announced March 30 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would enter self-isolation after an aide tested positive for the virus. His office said the 70-year-old leader had undergone a test and would remain in quarantine until he receives results or is cleared by the Health Ministry and his personal doctor. Netanyahu’s test was negative after Israel’s health minister tested positive for the virus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel tested negative for the new coronavirus, her spokesman said on March 23.
“The result of today’s test is negative” but “further tests will be conducted in the coming days,” Spokesman Steffen Seibert told the news agency dpa.
The German leader went into self-isolation after she came into contact with a doctor who has tested positive for the coronavirus, her spokesperson told German media outlets on March 22.
The Associated Press reported that Merkel had received a vaccination from the doctor.
U.S. President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump has tested negative for the novel coronavirus, the White House announced on March 14.
During a press briefing earlier that day, Trump said he had been tested for the virus following interactions with two Brazilian officials who later tested positive.
The president’s physician, Sean P. Conley, said in a memo released by the White House that Trump decided to get tested after they conferred about the matter.
“Last night after an in-depth discussion with the president regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” Conley wrote in the memo.
“This evening I received confirmation that the test is negative,” Conley wrote.
Trump had contact with at least two infected individuals: Fabio Wajngarten, the communications secretary for Brazil’s President Jair Bolsanaro, and Brazil’s charge d’affairs, Nestor Forster.
Both men were with Trump at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. Both Wajngarten and Forster have since tested positive for COVID-19.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said he has also tested negative for COVID-19.
Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence his wife Karen Pence were tested on March 21 for the coronavirus after a Pence staffer tested positive.
Pence’s spokeswoman tweeted the results of both tests were negative.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s wife tested positive for the new coronavirus, Spain’s government announced.
Begoña Gómez and the prime minister are both in good health, the government said at the time.
Two members of Sanchez’s cabinet, the minister of equality and the minister of regional affairs, had already tested positive. Other members of the cabinet had tested negative.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for coronavirus, according to Cameron Ahmad, communications director for the prime minister.
The prime minister “is in good health with no symptoms,” said Ahmad on March 12. “As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days. Also on the advice of doctors, he will not be tested at this stage since he has no symptoms. For the same reason, doctors say there is no risk to those who have been in contact with him recently.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
A senior cabinet member in Australia’s government, Peter Dutton, was infected with coronavirus.
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, has not been tested based on medical advice, according to Australian news reports.
Dutton was in Washington for meetings connected to the so-called Five Eyes security pact, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the U.S. A March 6 photo from that event shows Dutton standing next to Ivanka Trump, Attorney General William Barr and other White House officials.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran’s utmost authority for all domestic and foreign policy has seen several of his closest aides diagnosed with coronavirus.
Iran has one of the largest clusters of cases outside of China. It’s not known whether Khamenei and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani have been tested.
But more than 10% of Iran’s lawmakers have fallen ill with the disease and it has also not spared top officials, including its senior vice-president, Cabinet ministers, Revolutionary Guard members and health ministry officials.
Several lawmakers have died.
Recently, Khamenei has peddled an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory suggesting the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be part of a biological attack on the Islamic Republic.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
Italy has been the hardest-hit country in Europe.
At least one politician has publicly disclosed infection; Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the country’s Democratic Party, said he tested positive.
Lockdown in Italy:My quarantine, a worried wait for a test result – and relief
“So, it’s arrived, I also have coronavirus,” he said in a Facebook post. “I am fine, and therefore I am in quarantine at home. From here, I’ll continue to do what I can do … I have always said ‘don’t panic’ and that we will fight this.”
But there’s no indication that Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has contracted the disease.
Grim milestone:Italy’s coronavirus deaths surpass China’s
Contributing: Associated Press
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