Political Figures Who've Tested Positive for the Coronavirus
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As the threat of the novel coronavirus continues across the globe, public figures — including celebrities and athletes — have been added to the number of confirmed cases.
Here’s an ongoing list with the most up-to-date announcements on which political figures have tested positive worldwide and their current statuses:
President Donald Trump & First Lady Melania Trump
Trump, 74, announced on late Thursday, Oct. 1 that he and his wife Melania, 50, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The news came after the president had downplayed the seriousness of the virus for roughly seven months, pushing against federal health officials' recommendations, once brushing off the novel coronavirus as a political "hoax," and repeatedly spreading misinformation about the respiratory illness.
"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," Trump tweeted. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"
Melania later tweeted that she and her husband are "feeling good."
"As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19," she tweeted. "We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together."
The president's doctor Sean Conley said the couple is "both well at this time and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."
"Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments," Conley added in a statement shared by the White House Press office.
Reporters last saw Trump on the evening of Oct. 1 as he was returning to the White House from a campaign event and noted the president looked to be in good health, according to pool reporters in Washington, D.C.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized for the coronavirus on April 5, 10 days after he announced he had tested positive. He has since recovered.
The prime minister’s office said the morning of April 7 that Johnson’s condition improved to “stable” after he had been moved to intensive care after his condition “worsened.”
A spokesperson for the prime minister’s office said Johnson, 55, “has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support” and aides said his move to the intensive care unit at the time was “precautionary.”
Sen. Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced he had tested positive for the virus on Sunday, March 22.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” a tweet from his office read. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”
“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time” his team added. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”
Rep. Ben McAdams, Representative from Utah
Utah Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams was hospitalized on Friday, March 20 for “severe shortness of breath,” according to ABC.
Two days later, the 45-year-old lawmaker said he was “off oxygen” and was feeling “relatively better” in an update posted to his Twitter account.
“My experience has shown me how critical it is to follow the advice of the CDC and the Utah Department of Health in order to stop the spread of the virus,” McAdams said in a statement.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Representative from Florida
Florida lawmaker Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart tested positive for COVID-19 and said his symptoms “hit me like a ton of bricks,” in an interview on NBC’s Nightly News on March 21.
Diaz-Balart said he’s “feeling better” but that the virus is “a tricky bug,” describing how his symptoms suddenly impacted him.
“Saturday evening I started getting amazingly just a splitting headache,” he said. “And then pretty intensive fever and a cough. Now luckily, I have not had an issue breathing so I’ve never had a scary moment but obviously very, very unpleasant with headaches, with coughing, and with a pretty intense fever — all coming at the same time it seems.”
John Bessler, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Husband
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, announced on March 23 that her husband John Bessler had been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.
“While I cannot see him and he is of course cut off from all visitors, our daughter Abigail and I are constantly calling and texting and emailing,” Klobuchar, 59, said in a statement at the time. “We love him very much and pray for his recovery. He is exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person. Not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease.”
Bessler, 52, had pneumonia and was put on oxygen but not a ventilator, according to Klobuchar, and fully recovered the following month, CBS reported.
Peter Dutton, Australian Home Affairs Minister
The senior member of the Australian government immediately contacted his local health department in Queensland after waking up with a “temperature and sore throat,” BBC reported on March 13. Dutton was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Prior to contracting the virus, Dutton had traveled to Washington, D.C., for a meeting, where he met with President Donald Trump‘s daughter Ivanka Trump on March 5. (The White House said on March 13 that Ivanka was not symptomatic and did not need to quarantine but chose to work from home that day as a precautionary measure.)
Dutton has since recovered after nearly a month of battling the virus, he told 2GB in September.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Wife
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into isolation following her positive test results on March 12.
In a statement obtained by local outlet The Globe and Mail reporter Marieke Walsh, government officials said, “Following medical recommendations, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau was tested for COVID-19 today. The test came back positive.”
“Also following medical advice, she will remain in isolation for the time being. She is feeling well, is taking all recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild.”
Officials said that the prime minister was “in good health with no symptoms.”
Officials added, “As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days.”
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has since recovered and told the Associated Press that she's "feeling so much better," on March 28.
Fábio Wajngarten, Communications Director for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
The Brazilian government official received a positive test just days after meeting with President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, NPR reported on March 12.
Wajngarten posted an Instagram photo during his trip to the U.S., where he can be seen standing to the right of the president, wearing a “Make Brazil Great Again” hat.
“Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time,” the White House said back in March.
Augusto Heleno, Brazil’s National Security Advisor
Brazilian National Security Advisor Augusto Heleno was among the dozens of members of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet to test positive for the virus in March, according to Reuters.
The outlet also reported that Heleno ignored self-isolation recommendations at the time and returned to work seven days into his quarantine.
Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami
“It is confirmed that I have the coronavirus,” Suarez told the Miami Herald on March 13. “I did test positive for it.”
The mayor said that he felt healthy and strong, according to the Herald, and was quarantining at home while his wife and children lived with extended family.
His main concern, he said, was for the people who he had come in contact with over the last few days.
“If we did not shake hands or you did not come into contact with me if I coughed or sneezed, there is no action you need to take whatsoever,” he said. “If we did, however, touch or shake hands, or if I sneezed or coughed near you since Monday, it is recommended that you self-isolate for 14 days, but you do not need to get tested.”
“After speaking with medical personnel, I will continue to follow Department of Health protocol and remain isolated while I lead our government remotely,” he continued.
CBS reported on April 3 that Suarez has recovered and became the first convalescent plasma donor in the state of Florida.
Nadine Dorries, U.K. Health Minister
Dorries announced that she and her 84-year-old mother had both tested positive, The Evening Standard reported on March 15. She also opened up about her experience in an essay she wrote for The Sunday Times, writing that her diagnosis was a “game-changer” and that she was worried for her mother who was "not in the best of health.”
“I stopped listening for a second as the thought flew through my mind: my mum is going to get it and it’s my fault. I had brought Covid-19 home from Westminster and had unwittingly passed it on to her,” Dorries wrote in her essay. “It felt as though the clocks had stopped. I knew that everything was about to change and I wanted to hold time where it stood.” Dorries said her symptoms included persistent cough, achy muscles and intermittent night sweats, according to The Evening Standard, and she advises people to act as though everything is already contaminated as a safety precaution.
She said: “Every lift button, shopping-trolley handle, wait-button on a zebra crossing – and every cup in a cafe.
“Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Carry hand-sanitiser and use it over and over. Resist the urge to hug or shake hands with anyone.”
Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iranian Vice President
President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy for women’s affairs was Iran’s seventh official to test positive, The New York Times reported on March 4. Out of the seven, one prominent cleric died from the virus at the time.
Since contracting the disease, Ebtekar quarantined at home.
According to the Times, Iran had the highest number of government officials infected at the time.
Begoña Gómez, Wife of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez
The wife of Prime Minister Sánchez tested positive for coronavirus, Washington Times reported on March 15.
The outlet said that both Gómez and Sánchez were in good health and followed instructions from medical authorities at their home in La Moncloa Palace in Madrid. Additionally, two ministers of Sánchez’s cabinet also tested positive but were also in good health.
Gómez’s health status was first announced shortly after Sánchez addressed the people of Spain to announce the measures his government plans to take to combat the pandemic.
Carmen Calvo, Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said she was discharged from the hospital on March 29 after she was treated for coronavirus.
“I will continue medical treatment at home, maintaining isolation,” the deputy prime minister tweeted later that day.
Ali Larijani, Iran’s Parliament Speaker
The Associated Press reported on April 2 that Iranian Parliament Speaker entered quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus, but has since recovered.
Nicola Zingaretti, Leader of Italy’s Democratic Party
Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of Italy’s co-governing Democratic Party, tested positive for the novel coronavirus in early March.
“I am fine, and therefore I am in quarantine at home,” the politician explained in a video on Facebook, according to The Guardian.
Since, Zingaretti has called on Italians to stay home to help stop the spread of the virus.
Quim Torra, Regional Leader of Spain’s Catalonia, & Pere Aragones, Catalan Deputy Head of Government
The two government officials contracted the virus, The New York Times reported the morning of March 16.
At the time, Torra had gone into self-isolation in a government building, according to the Times.
Franck Riester, France’s Culture Minister
Riester has been doing well and resting at home after he contracted the virus, Reuters reported on March 9.
Five other French members of parliament were also diagnosed at the time, as well as an employee in the National Assembly cafeteria where, according to the outlet, some of the lawmakers may have been infected.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said that no other government officials have been diagnosed and “nobody has been shaking hands in cabinet meetings for the last two weeks.”
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