Amid the coronavirus pandemic, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent three nights in intensive care in April, after being initially diagnosed with COVID-19 on 27 March, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab standing in to deputise in his absence.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may resign from office in six months time due to lingering health issues after he succumbed to the coronavirus respiratory disease in March, according to the father-in-law of his closest aide, Dominic Cummings, reports The Times.
In a conversation that reportedly took place last week between journalist Anna Silverman and Sir Humphrey Wakefield, father of Cummings’ wife Mary, he is said to have revealed that early next year Johnson would resign due to the toll on his health from his time spent in intensive care.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
According to the journalist, cited by the outlet, she encountered Wakefield accidentally during a trip to Chillingham Castle in Northumberland, northeast England.
Once the conversation turned to Boris Johnson, Wakefield reportedly likened his condition to that of an injured horse that is brought back too early.
“If you put a horse back to work when it’s injured it will never recover,” Wakefield was quoted by the Times as saying.
In response to the report, a Downing Street source was cited by Business Insider as emphatically rejecting speculation that the Prime Minister was planning to resign in six months’ time, slamming them as “utter nonsense.”
Boris Johnson spent five days in intensive care at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital in April, testing positive to COVID-19 on 27 March after noticing mild symptoms the previous afternoon.
AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
A man reads a newspaper with the headline: ‘PM in intensive care’, outside St Thomas’ Hospital in central London as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care fighting the coronavirus in London, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
After receiving the results, he began self-isolating and working from home, yet just over a week later, on 5 April, he was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in central London for further tests as a “precautionary step”, due to persisting coronavirus symptoms.
On the following day, Downing Street announced Johnson’s condition had deteriorated, and he had been moved to the intensive care unit.
In an interview with The Sun in May, Johnson opened up on his ordeal with the coronavirus, saying that he had made “arrangements” at the time with doctors for his death, and was given “litres and litres of oxygen” to keep him alive at the height of his illness.
“It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it. They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario… I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place,” said Johnson.
Since returning to Downing Street after his recovery, multiple reports over the following months suggested that the Prime Minister’s health remains poor.
Downing Street has been keen to dispel such rumors, with the UK media running photos of Johnson posing for photographs while doing press-ups and jogging.