Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab is stepping in while U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson battles coronavirus. Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday and moved to the ICU on Monday. According to a statement released from a Downing Street spokesman, the 55-year-old does not have pneumonia and “has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”
“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance. He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”
Dr Jon Bennett, president of the British Thoracic Society, said it was “heartening” the PM was receiving “standard oxygen treatment” – through his nose or via a face mask – because in more serious cases it would be delivered through mechanical support, such as continuous positive airway pressure, high flow nasal oxygen or more invasive ventilators.
The spokesman said that the mood in government is “determined”, and ministers have a very clear plan set out by Mr Johnson for responding to the pandemic.
Earlier today The Queen sent a message to Carrie Symonds and to the Johnson family. Her Majesty said they were in her thoughts and that she wished the Prime Minister a full and speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/Mo1SgAd9wh
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 7, 2020
Our thoughts are with the Prime Minister and his family, who like so many in the UK and around the world are affected by coronavirus. We wish him a speedy recovery at this difficult time. W
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 7, 2020
Donald Trump also sent “best wishes” to his “very good friend.” The president also said he asked pharmaceutical companies to help the prime minister, but Business Insider writes:
Johnson’s spokesman rejected the offer on Tuesday, saying “any treatment he receives is a matter for his doctors.”
“We’re confident the prime minister is receiving the best possible care from the National Health Service,” the spokesman said. “Any treatment he receives is a matter for his doctors.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that questions swirl over “how the government will function if the prime minister is out for a prolonged period, or dies.”
“If he is incapacitated for quite a long time, then you’re in totally different circumstances,” said Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair. “In the middle of a crisis like this, in the modern world, it is quite impossible to function without a prime minister.”
The government will face momentous decisions, including when and how to lift the lockdown on Britain.
Watch more from Reuters above.