US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have joined a growing list of world leaders who have tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Trump announced on Friday, October 2, through a tweet that he had tested positive.
The news came hours after the White House revealed that one of President Trump’s most trusted aides Hope Hicks (31 years) had tested positive for Covid-19. Hicks works in close contact with the 74-year-old Trump who is seeking re-election in the 2020 polls slated for November.
One of the first world leaders to announce they had contracted the virus was Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy for women’s affairs. The government announced that she had tested positive for Covid-19 on February 27. Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi had tested positive earlier on February 25.
Before Trump, close ally Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had tested positive for Covid-19 on July 7. Like Trump, Bolsonaro was reluctant to acknowledge the pandemic that was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2020 and follow the recommended precautions. Among these precautions was declaring a lockdown on movement in major cities or countries to stem the spread of Covid-19 that was first reported in China in December 2019.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for Covid-19 in late March 2020 and was admitted to hospital on April 6 as his condition worsened. His condition was so serious that precautions were made for a handover of government in case he lost the battle against the disease. He, however, made a full recovery and effusively thanked the country’s National Health Service for saving his life.
Around the same time as Johnson was struggling with the illness, Monace announced that its head Prince Albert II had contracted Covid-19. He would be announced fully healed by April 1.
Melania Trump is far from the first spouse of a world leader to fall prey to Covid-19. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12 after a trip to London, England. She would reportedly have made a full recovery by March 29.
In Spain, the Prime Minister’s wife Begona Gomez tested positive for coronavirus on 15 March. There was no immediate information on whether Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had contracted the virus though both were reported to now be fine.