DONALD Trump has wished Boris Johnson a speedy recovery in his “personal fight” with coronavirus and said “all Americans are praying for him”.
The PM was rushed to hospital last night after failing to shake off his Covid-19 symptoms, ten days after testing positive.
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And the US President used his televised press briefing on the outbreak yesterday to hail his “friend” and send the whole of America’s thoughts and prayers.
Trump told reporters gathered in the White House: “I want to express our nation’s well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he wages his own personal fight with the virus.
“All Americans are praying for him, he’s a friend of mine, he’s a great gentleman and a great leader.
“He was brought to the hospital today but I’m hopeful and sure he will be fine. He’s a strong man, strong person.”
Downing Street said the Prime Minister had been admitted for tests as a “precautionary step”. He continues to have “persistent symptoms”, thought to be a high temperature.
Boris, 55, who was not taken in an ambulance, is understood to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed central London NHS hospital.
Aides confirmed he was spending the night there and would remain “as long as necessary”.
The move comes after those closest to him became increasingly worried about his health as Mr Johnson continued to show symptoms seven days after testing positive.
Government aides said Boris had been “coughing and spluttering” on video conference calls over the past few days.
Most people manage to shake off their symptoms after a week, with doctors saying patients are at risk of developing pneumonia if a temperature persists.
Last night a Downing Street spokesman said: “On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests.
“This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.
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“The Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Today’s Covid-19 war cabinet meeting will be chaired by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
But Downing Street insisted Mr Johnson remained in charge of the Government and is still in contact with colleagues and officials.
Mr Raab will take over as caretaker PM if Mr Johnson is unable to continue for any reason.
If he also became unwell then the PM has the power to delegate responsibility to any minister. It is understood Chancellor Rishi Sunak and then Michael Gove are next in the chain of command.
New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt were among many British politicians who wished him well.
Dr Rupert Beale, from the Francis Crick Institute, said Mr Johnson is likely to be monitored for signs such as oxygen saturation.
He said: “They will also check blood tests to see what the immune response to the virus looks like, and to assess liver and kidney function.
“They will perform an electrocardiogram to check the heart.
“More sophisticated tests may include a CT scan of the chest to get an accurate picture of the lungs.
“They will consider the best way to deliver oxygen and will also consider other treatments depending on test results.
“We are in a struggle between humanity and a deadly virus. Whatever your politics, we are all on the same side. I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery.”
The PM’s last on-camera engagement with the public was on Friday, when he recorded a Twitter video telling viewers he still had symptoms so was following Public Health England guidance to stay in self-isolation.
His voice sounded croaky and he appeared exhausted.
GP Dr Ellie Cannon said the most common reason coronavirus patients are admitted to hospital was for “signs of breathlessness”.
She added that having the virus beyond ten days is a “red flag” and some patients who failed to get rid of the symptoms had developed a bacterial infection on top of the virus.
Dr Cannon told Sky News: “The breathlessness is a worrying sign of severe illness and can happen at any point of the illness, it can happen on Day seven or Day ten.”
‘COUGHING & SPLUTTERING’
Government aides earlier said the PM had been “coughing and spluttering” on video conference calls over the last few days.
Mr Johnson announced on March 27 that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was self-isolating with “mild symptoms” including a high temperature and persistent cough.
He has shared several video updates from his No11 flat since his diagnosis and stepped outside to join the nationwide clap for NHS staff on Thursday evening.
It emerged on Saturday that Mr Johnson’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds, 32, also suffered from coronavirus symptoms..
But she said she was “on the mend” after spending a week in bed.
She tweeted on Saturday night: “I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend. Being pregnant with Covid-19 is obviously worrying.”
Yesterday the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who recovered after also testing positive for coronavirus last week, had insisted the PM was “OK” but still had a temperature.
He told Sky News: “He’s OK, I’ve been talking to him every day, so he has very much got his hand on the tiller but he has still got a temperature.
“In a way it shows this virus affects different people differently.
“I was lucky, I had two pretty rough days and then I bounced back and some people do get it pretty mildly, and then for others it’s very, very serious and the Prime Minister is not at that end of the spectrum.”
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