” COVID-19 and its Indistinguishability Across Human Population ” – October 3, 2020.
US President, Donald Trump, has joined the latest list of leaders affected by COVID-19. Cases of leaders of many nations – President, PM, Ministers, Party leaders – prior to this latest inclusion have been recorded and documented including their recovery ; their isolation/ treatment ; work performance schedule ; and their popularity after recovery.
The corridors of power in the world have not been exempted from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 transcends race, religion, ethnicity, class, gender, and any distinctions made on the basis of money, fame, power, status, and the likes.
I present below the case of 7 national leaders that not just shook the nation(s) but stood as testimony to the will, courage, and strength of the leaders in overcoming the disease to make an impact on people.
First, Boris Johnson, 56 years old PM of UK, tested positive for COVID-19 during the first week of April 2020. He had to be given Oxygen before being taken to the St Thomas Hospital . Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputised for him. He lamented the stress whole giving up the basic freedoms ; not being able to see friends ; working from home ; managing kids ; and worrying about the nation and its businesses. He wanted businesses to keep going in the same manner in which they have been so far, and urged NHS’s role in saving the lives of people. His resolve to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to take steps to defeat COVID-19 got stronger than ever after he recovered. It also prompted him to start an anti obesity campaign. It was a positive aspect. UK cases : 467146; deaths : 42268; recovered : NA.
Second, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, 65 years old, his National Security Adviser, Mines and Energy Minister, and the head of Senate, all tested positive for Coronavirus in July, 2020. There was mounting criticism for lax handling of the outbreak. Bolsonaro is a far right populist and at that time presided over a very weak economy. It made protesters shout, ” Bolsonaro Out”. It was China’s fault, he asserted, and likened it to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster and Russia’s role in alleging a cover up. He was charged by the Russians as the US spokesperson in Brazil for his methods imitating those of Donald Trump. He instituted strong preventive mechanisms after recovery. He improved his ratings too. Brazil cases registered : 4882231 ; deaths : 145431 ; recovered : 4232593.
Third, Juan Orlando Henderson, 51 year old Honduran President, his wife and two aides tested positive in the second week of June 2020, and Juan Orlando Henderson was hospitalized after tests revealed pneumonia. He received medicines intravenously. He was treated as an in patient in the hospital. He, however, continued work remotely. ” I trust in God, Honduran doctors, and Medicine” – he said. He attributed his inability to stay at home on the job that he was expected to perform for his citizens. Honduras had closed its borders, mandated a blanket curfew, and was just reopening after three months of lockdown. He did better after his recovery. Honduras cases registered : 78269 ; deaths : 2386 ; cases recovered : 28978.
Fourth , Alejandro Giammettei, 64 year old President of Guatemala, tested positive for COVID-19 during the third week of September 2020. He, however, continued his functions remaining in isolation. The country had only then reopened its borders and resumed international flights after a six month closure. The country had a weak healthcare system and experienced anti lockdown demonstrations. He had also taken advice from the US for immigration problems earlier. Doing well after recovery. Guatemala cases registered : 93090 ; deaths : 3267 ; cases recovered : 81466.
Fifth, Jeanine Anez, 53 year old Interim President of Bolivia, tested positive for COVID-19 during the second week of July and worked in isolation. Four members of her cabinet also tested positive prior to that. This happened when Bolivia was gearing up for its general election in October 18. A country of 11 million population its cases registered are : 136219 ; deaths : 8045 ; and cases recovered : 96654.
Sixth, Luis Abinader, 52 year old Dominican Revolutionary Party Leader, tested positive for COVID-19 during the second week of June 2020. One out of every 500 people in Dominican Republic has been infected. He was not a high risk patient and he was isolating with his wife at home. A tourist hub that Dominican Republic has been, is the reason for the speedy Coronavirus spread in the country. The country has a population of 10.6 million. Cases registered : 113350 ; deaths : 2117 ; cases recovered : 88840.
Seventh, Mikhail Mishustin , the 54 year old Russian PM tested positive for COVID-19 on April 30, 2020. He observed self isolation to protect his colleagues. First Deputy PM, Andrei Belousou acted as temporary replacement. Government measures and tough isolation decisions helped Russia contain the impact better at that time. Cases registered : 1194643 ; deaths : 213524 ; Cases recovered : 4776824.
Conclusion : There are five in their 50s and two in their 60s in this group. US President, Donald Trump is 74 years old and may probably be the first leader in their 70s to contract this disease. Are leaders in their 70s less vulnerable ? Luis Abinader, 52, is the only world leader known to have run an election campaign while infected with the novel Coronavirus. He won with 53 % vote. President Donald Trump now finds himself in a similar situation with the general election just about 30 days away. He is expected to recover well by October 12 at the earliest. Like many in the above group, there is every chance that his ratings may also grow now. But there is a significant difference between Luis Abinader and Donald Trump. Luis Abinader has been the challenger with high favourability scores for victory in election while Donald Trump is the incumbent lagging behind Biden, his challenger, in the ratings as at present. He, however, will have personal sympathy – a plus point. It will be exciting to watch the election metrics in the days to come. His faith and trust in God, Medicines, and Doctors need to be stronger than what the Honduran leader, Juan Orlando Hernandez displayed.
” Dieu avec nous “
Saturday, October 3, 2029 – 12.29 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” When there is an adversity, it offers scope for Visionary Leadership looking beyond the survival needs of people “.