Canada Princes to presidents: Other world leaders have caught COVID-19, and carried on
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U.S. President Donald Trump, having tested positive for COVID-19, joins a growing list of world leaders who’ve fallen ill.
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Trump, 74, announced early Friday morning both he and First Lady Melania Trump, 50, had tested positive, likely after contact with Hope Hicks, 31, a senior member of Trump’s staff.
As of Friday morning, the White House said Trump had mild symptoms. But it does raise questions for the future of his campaign, as Trump will be in quarantine for 10 days and the second presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15. Millions of votes have already been cast in the election, and actual voting day, Nov. 3, is just a month away.
But Trump is by no means the only world leader to be stricken with COVID-19. Their experiences have ranged from falling extremely ill — as in the case of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was one of the first leaders to contract the virus — to those with milder cases, such as Canadian politicians Yves-François Blanchet and Erin O’Toole.
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Boris Johnson, 56
Johnson fell ill in late March, saying he had “mild” symptoms. It’s hard to say how, exactly, he caught the coronavirus, but he had been busy in prior weeks, telling media he was shaking a lot of hands.
By April 6, Johnson’s health had deteriorated. He was rushed to hospital and spent a handful of days in the intensive care unit. He needed oxygen, but didn’t need a ventilator.
While he was ill, the British government was making plans for what would happen if he died.
Jair Bolsonaro, 65
The Brazilian leader fell sick in July. He’d widely downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was nothing more than “a little flu.” Bolsonaro also made headlines while sick, for taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial medication that received considerable attention — and disinformation — in the early days of the pandemic.
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It’s unknown where or how exactly he caught it, though Bolsonaro had spent the days leading up to his positive test gladhanding at events — he rarely wore a mask.
Alexander Lukashenko, 65
The president of Belarus had urged citizens to drink vodka and visit the sauna to keep healthy and avoid contracting the coronavirus. He fell sick, nonetheless, in July, having continued with in-person gatherings throughout the pandemic. Europe’s last dictator — he’s been in power since 1994 — survived his brush with COVID-19.
Prince Albert of Monaco, 62
A handful of international royals — including Prince Charles, heir to the British throne — have contracted COVID-19. Albert was the first head of state to publicly say they’d contracted the virus. The five-time Olympic bobsledder recovered just fine.
Prince Charles, 71
Charles was diagnosed in March, had only mild symptoms, and recovered. His wife, the duchess of Cornwall, did not catch it. (He was kept away from the Queen, his mother, for several days.) According to the Daily Mail, Charles experienced one of the key symptoms: he lost his sense of taste and smell. He also, apparently, spent much of his time in isolation, baking.
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Yves-François Blanchet, 55
Blanchet tested positive in mid-September. Several other members of his caucus went into isolation after a staff member tested positive. The Bloc Québécois leader was doing “perfectly well,” he said, and indeed was healthy enough to respond to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s throne speech. He has since recovered and is out of isolation.
Erin O’Toole, 47
The Conservative Party leader had been head of the party for less than a month before his positive COVID-19 test. He might have been exposed in September after travelling with a party staffer who fell ill, according to news reports.
O’Toole’s wife also tested positive, and the two isolated. O’Toole has since recovered and is back in politics. He delivered a pre-taped video response to Prime Minister Trudeau’s throne speech.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, 45
The wife of Prime Minister Trudeau contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic after travelling to London, U.K., for a charity event. The couple self-isolated, and the prime minister never caught the virus. Grégoire Trudeau had flu-like symptoms, news reports said.
COVID Alert App Is A Glaring Reminder Of Health Inequality In Canada
OTTAWA — It’s easy to find an example of structural inequality in Canada: just look at your phone. The “COVID Alert” app, launched first in Ontario at the end of July, is an exposure notification tool that uses Bluetooth technology to identify potential community transmissions of COVID-19. Available in English and French, the app satisfies official language requirements that came into law in 1969. Waves of immigration and a growing number of speakers of Cree languages, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Dene and Inuktitut have since increased ethnic and linguistic diversity.
Juan Orlando Hernandez
The president of Honduras caught COVID-19 in June. He was the first leader in Latin America to fall ill.
He took an experimental combination of drugs, spent roughly two weeks in hospital, and experienced pneumonia-like symptoms.
— with files from National Post wire services
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