JOHANNESBURG – Leaders and prominent figures from around the world Friday sent their best wishes to U.S. President Donald Trump and his family after he announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus.
The president revealed his diagnosis on Twitter early Friday, with leaders across the globe sending their well wishes.
The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, tweeted his wish that Trump and his wife have “a full and speedy recovery.”
The WHO declared the virus a global pandemic in March. Since then, more than 34 million people have tested positive worldwide, according to WHO figures. Of those, more than 1 million have died. The U.S. carries the world’s heaviest viral burden, according to WHO data, with more than 7.1 million confirmed cases and more than 205,000 deaths.
India’s prime minister and close Trump ally Narendra Modi was one of the first heads of state to send a message of support. India, a nation of more than 1.3 billion people, reports the world’s second heaviest coronavirus burden, with just under 6.4 million confirmed cases and more than 99,000 deaths.
In a message posted on his official web page, Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Trump well, saying: “I am sure that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.” Russia has reported just under 1.2 million confirmed cases, and slightly less than 21,000 deaths.
And German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement through a spokesman Friday, saying: “I send Donald and Melania Trump all my best wishes. I hope they will recover well from their coronavirus infection and will soon be completely recovered.” Germany has reported more than 291,000 cases and at least 9,500 deaths.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself contracted the virus in late March, at the height of his country’s pandemic, also sent well wishes. In early April, Johnson was rushed to a London hospital and put in an intensive care unit. At the time, the 55-year-old leader said his condition “could have gone either way.” Britain has reported 453,000 cases and more than 42,000 deaths, according to the WHO. The island nation appears to be currently experiencing a second wave of infections.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Trump in Washington in mid-September to sign the Abraham Accords peace agreement, along with leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, also sent wishes for Trump’s recovery. Israel has reported more than 238,000 cases and just over 1,500 deaths.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also sent his best wishes. Turkey has reported more than 318,000 cases and just under 8,200 deaths.
And Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani sent best wishes to Trump from his official presidential account. Afghanistan has reported more than 39,000 cases and more than 1,400 deaths.
Other European leaders to tweet best wishes included Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and European Council President Charles Michel.
And Slovenia’s prime minister, Janez Janša, also Tweeted his wishes for a speedy recovery. Melania Trump was born and raised in the then-Yugoslav republic of Slovenia and remains a citizen of the Eastern European nation, in addition to holding American citizenship. Slovenia has reported 5,690 cases and 138 deaths.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who, like Trump, has been averse to wearing a mask in public, wished Trump a speedy recovery in a televised meeting with journalists. He did not wear a mask. Mexico has reported more than 743,000 cases and more than 77,000 deaths.
On the African continent, where the viral burden has been relatively low compared with the rest of the world, few leaders commented on the Trumps’ diagnoses.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose nation has seen 7,850 cases and just under 230 deaths, offered his wishes for Trump’s full recovery.
North Korea’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-Un, sent a message of sympathy to Trump and his wife, state media reported.
“He sincerely hoped that they would recover as soon as possible. He hoped they will surely overcome it,” the Korean Central News Agency reported. Global health officials have no viral data on North Korea, and the government has yet to report a single case of the highly contagious virus, which originated in neighboring China.
Other leaders have yet to issue statements, including Chinese President Xi Jinping who did not immediately react to the news on any known public platform. The virus first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, and officials reported more than 91,000 cases and 4,700 deaths before the virus appeared to subside in April.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tweeted “Saddened to learn #President and the #FirstLady of the #US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine.”
But state-run Chinese daily Global Times issued a critical statement, saying, “it may also negatively affect his re-election.”
President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19. The news shows the severity of the US’ pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection.
Source: Voice of America