AP

UK’s Johnson spends night in ICU; not on ventilator

Apr 7, 2020, 5:48 AM
A police officer stands outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London as British Prime Minister Bor...
A police officer stands outside St Thomas' Hospital in central London as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened on Monday April 6, 2020. Johnson was admitted to St Thomas' hospital in central London on Sunday after his coronavirus symptoms persisted for 10 days. Having been in hospital for tests and observation, his doctors advised that he be admitted to intensive care on Monday evening. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
(Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in the intensive care unit of a London hospital with the new coronavirus, but is not on a ventilator, a senior government minister said Tuesday, as pressure grew on the government to release more details of Johnson’s condition.

Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital late Sunday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, the first major world leader to be confirmed to have the virus. He was moved to the ICU Monday after his condition deteriorated.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said Johnson is being given oxygen but “the prime minister is not on a ventilator.”

He said he did not know whether the prime minister had pneumonia, which often develops in patients hit hardest by the coronavirus.

Gove said Johnson is “receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family.”

“We’re desperately hoping that Boris can make the speediest possible recovery,” said Gove, who is in isolation at home after a family member showed mild coronavirus symptoms.

Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, is herself recovering from coronavirus symptoms.

Britain has no official post of deputy prime minister, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been designated to take over temporarily.

“The government’s business will continue,” Raab said late Monday. He said Johnson had asked him “to deputize for him where needed in driving forward the government’s plans to defeat coronavirus.”

The deterioration of Johnson’s health took many in Britain by surprise. On Monday afternoon he tweeted that he was in good spirits and thanked the National Health Service for taking care of him and others with the disease.

The government was facing calls Tuesday to be more transparent about Johnson’s condition amid claims they had underplayed its seriousness.

It’s not common for the health details of British prime ministers to be made public, except at times of crisis. Even then, information has sometimes been scanty. When Winston Churchill suffered a debilitating stroke in 1953, the government kept it secret until Churchill recovered.

Johnson had been quarantined in his Downing Street residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.

He continued to work throughout his illness, to the concern of some of his colleagues. With the U.K. still approaching the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, and the government facing accusations that it did not act soon enough to put the country into lockdown, Johnson and his ministers are under intense pressure.



Johnson chaired daily meetings on the outbreak until Sunday. He released several video messages during his 10 days in isolation urging Britons to stay home and observe social distancing measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

Concerns had been growing about Johnson’s welfare ever since he posted a message Friday in which he appeared red-eyed and flushed, saying that he was feeling better, though was still feverish.

Johnson’s former communications director, Will Walden, said the prime minister tended to try to soldier on through illness rather than taking a break.

“He’s pretty stoic and can be a bit bloody-minded about that kind of thing,” Walden told the BBC.

News that Johnson had been transferred to intensive care drew an outpouring of support from around the world.

U.S. President Donald Trump said “Americans are all praying for his recovery.”

“He’s been a really good friend,” Trump said during a White House press briefing. “He’s been really something very special — strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.”

Trump said he asked two “leading companies” to contact officials in London about therapeutics that could be of help. He did not identify the companies, but said “we have contacted all of Boris’s doctors, and we’ll see what’s going to take place, but they are ready to go.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet that he was sending his support to Johnson, his family and “the British people at this difficult time. I wish him well.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram wishing Johnson a full and quick recovery, the Kremlin said. “I’m positive that your energy, optimism and sense of humor will help combat the disease,” Putin wrote.

Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II was being kept informed about Johnson’s condition.

The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people, but for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and lead to death.

The government said Monday that 51,608 people had been confirmed to have the coronavirus in Britain, 5,373 of whom have died.

Britain’s unwritten constitution does not have a clear rule for what happens if a prime minister becomes incapacitated or dies. Seven prime ministers have died in office, but the most recent was in 1865.

Johnson delegating Raab to fill in for him clarifies things for now, but it does not mean Raab would automatically take over permanently should a new leader be needed. If it became clear Johnson could not return to his job, the Conservative Party could elect a new leader, who would become prime minister.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
ALI ABDUL-HASSAN and ABBY SEWELL Associated Press

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
4 days ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
6 days ago
The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
7 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
8 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
8 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
UK’s Johnson spends night in ICU; not on ventilator