How Trump can learn from Boris Johnson’s coronavirus battle amid White House outbreak

The news comes after the UK suffered its own string of high profile infections in Westminster, including the Prime Minister, who was eventually admitted in intensive care in a long battle against the disease. The first case came in early March when Nadine Dorries, one of Mr Johnson’s health ministers, tested positive and was forced to self-isolate.

Officials close to the Prime Minister insisted he did not need to be tested for the virus, despite having attended a function at Downing Street with Ms Dorries.

In the following weeks, several key officials either tested positive for the virus or had to self-quarantine.

Some of the most proficient names to self-isolate were Matt Hancock, the health secretary, Michael Gove, a senior cabinet minister, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior advisor, Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser and head of the civil service.

Even Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister’s fiancé, who was heavily pregnant at the time went into self-isolation.

Sources inside Downing Street have told CNN that in early March, officials close to Mr Johnson still saw the outbreak as a foreign issue, and did not seem to understand that it might affect the UK.

“They saw it as a distant threat, China’s problem. They didn’t think it would come to us, let alone them,” said a Downing Street source.

Number 10 sparked concerns that Mr Johnson’s political advisers were jeopardising the health of civil servants at risk due to the size of rooms and corridors they work in.

While the number of staff members on-site was cut back from 250 to 70, detractors insisted the preventive measure was not enough to ensure their safety.

READ MORE: NHS faces waiting list of 7.2MILLION after COVID-19 crisis due to s…

Downing Street has refuted their claims and insisted that it had followed medical guidance at all times.

However, there has likely been spread between government officials.

Mr Johnson was eventually hospitalised with he virus and leaving the future of the country in his subordinates’ hands.

“While Dominic Raab was officially serving as Johnson’s deputy, it was fairly clear he didn’t have the full authority to make some of the most crucial decisions,” says Rob Ford, professor of politics at the University of Manchester.

“The arguments that cabinet would usually have thrashed out were essentially frozen in time for a month until Johnson was back at work.”

DON’T MISS:
Coronavirus China cover-up: ‘Wet market claim doesn’t stack up’ [INSIGHT]
Sturgeon’s deputy shamed for ‘treating Britons as children’ over rules [UPDATES]
Payroll scam warning: Fraudsters are posing as your employer [REVEALED]

The lesson to take away from this for Trump’s administration is that the President must stay healthy to lead the US through the pandemic crisis.

Trump and Mr Johnson alike have been criticised for giving confusing guidance on how to prevent spread – especially when it comes to the use of masks and what medication to take.

Many have seen this as an indication that the leaders do not take the threat of a pandemic seriously enough.

“It creates a huge potential problem in their job going forward,” says Prof Ford.

“If the public thinks they behaved irresponsibly by being too slow on lockdown to begin with, why should they trust them as they relax measures?

“Given the difficult balancing act of keeping the public safe and the need to reopen the economy, trust in the messaging coming from government is more crucial now than ever.”

The UK government has not yet fully recovered from the month it lost to the coronavirus outbreak.

Professor Ford indicates that if a similar event took place at the White House, the repercussions could be even worse for the US.

“The age profile of the leading political figures in the US isn’t great when we know who suffers the worst for this virus,” he said.

“The potential for chaos is really clear if you look at the written order of succession, which doesn’t take long to get to Nancy Pelosi.”

Source: Read Full Article