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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., became the first U.S. senator to test positive with the coronavirus Sunday. That same day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel entered quarantine as a precaution after a doctor she had come in contact with days earlier learned he was infected.
Earlier this month, there were fears President Trump had been exposed to the virus — after a Brazilian press secretary who attended an event at Mar-a-Lago tested positive for COVID-19 days later. And, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., both quarantined themselves after coming in contact with someone at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February who later tested positive.
Here’s a list of major world leaders who have either tested positive with the coronavirus — or have begun to self-quarantine after possible exposure to the novel disease.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro denied reports he tested positive for the coronavirus – which had prompted fears President Trump might have been put at risk of infection. Bolsonaro had dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago on March 7. His press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who was also at Mar-a-Lago and was photographed with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, tested positive for COVID-19 just days later on March 12, Axios reported.
Augusto Heleno, Brazil’s national security adviser, said on Twitter he tested positive for the coronavirus but displayed no symptoms, according to Foreign Policy.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tested positive for the coronavirus last week after returning from London. She and her husband separately began 14-day quarantine periods, BBC reported. Trudeau was not tested for COVID-19 and was expected to fulfill all job duties while working remotely.
In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 photo, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau arrive at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario. Trudeau is quarantining himself at home after his wife exhibited flu-like symptoms. Trudeau’s office said Thursday, March 12, 2020, that Sophie Grégoire Trudeau returned from a speaking engagement in Britain and had mild flu-like symptoms, including a low fever late, Wednesday night. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
The U.K. Health Minister Nadine Dorries tested positive for COVID-19. She was the first U.K. politician to contract the illness and learned she had unknowingly spread the infection to her 84-year-old mother, Foreign Policy reported.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not been tested for the coronavirus but is at a greater risk of contracting the novel illness due to frequent close-quarter meetings about the U.K.’s response to the crisis.
Dominic Raab, the foreign minister, is next in line to assume the duties of prime minister should Johnson fall ill with the coronavirus, Downing Street said Monday. A “designated survivor” plan was created by Downing Street to squash in-fighting, as several ministers were pushing for Michael Gove, a cabinet office minister and an ally to Johnson, to take over the role if needed, U.K.’s The Telegraph reported.
Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the governing Democratic party, visited Milan on February 27, with a group of students, encouraging people to go out as a sign of strength against the coronavirus threat.
“We must not change our habits,” he wrote in a social media post, according to the Guardian. “Our economy is stronger than fear: let’s go out for an aperitivo, a coffee or to eat a pizza.”
He tested positive with the coronavirus nine days later.
Roberto Stella, president of the Order of Doctors in Varese, died at age 67 from respiratory failure after contracting the coronavirus. Giorgi Valoti, the mayor of Cene, died at age 70 on March 13 also from a COVID-19-related illness. Both men held positions in the northern Lombardy region, which is the epicenter of the outbreak in Italy.
Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan main train station, Italy, Monday, March 9, 2020. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte signed a quarantine decree for the country’s prosperous northern Lombardy region and 14 other provinces before extending the lockdown to include the entire country. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Franck Riester, French minister of culture, and Brune Poirson, the secretary of state to the minister of ecological and inclusive transition, both tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Foreign Policy. Several lawmakers in the French National Assembly have also contracted COVID-19.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said on Twitter last Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus last week. He is 69 years old and previously worked as France’s former foreign minister.
“I would like to inform you that I have tested positive for #COVID19. I am doing well and in good spirits. I am following all the necessary instructions, as is my team,” Barnier tweeted on Thursday, March 19. “For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together.”
His announcement is expected to further delay negotiations with the United Kingdom, which formally left the EU on January 31 but has until an end-of-the-year deadline to sort out tariffs and trade quotas before completely cutting ties with the bloc.
European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talks to journalists during a news conference at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel tested negative for the coronavirus Monday, according to her spokesman, and would have further testing completed this week.
“Further tests will be conducted in the coming days,” her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told news agency dpa International, according to the Associated Press.
Merkel, 65, began quarantine in her home Sunday after learning a doctor she had come in contact with days earlier had tested positive for COVID-19.
The chancellor had received a precautionary vaccine Friday against pneumococcal infection. The doctor who administered the vaccine to her later tested positive for COVID-19, Seibert said.
German politician Friedrich Merz announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is one of several candidates vying to take over the German Christian Democratic Union Party, Foreign Policy magazine reported.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak in Germany, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo was hospitalized on Sunday with a respiratory infection and has been tested for the coronavirus, according to Reuters. Her test results have not come back yet.
“The deputy Prime Minister went to a hospital yesterday afternoon and after medical tests were carried out doctors decided she had to remain there to receive treatment for a respiratory infection,” the government said in a statement.
Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez, as well as two other Spanish ministers tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. Gómez was reportedly taking precautionary measures inside her family home in Madrid to ensure others weren’t infected.
Spanish Civil Guard officers at a checkpoint to stop drivers from trying to leave the city, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
Irene Montero, Spain’s equality minister, was the first in Sanchez’s cabinet to test positive for the coronavirus. She and her husband, Pablo Iglesias, who is the deputy prime minister and leader of the Podemos Party, remain in quarantine.
Gómez and Montero attended a Madrid march in honor of International Women’s Day. The Spanish government received criticism for allowing the marches across the country.
Spain’s minister for territorial policy, Carolina Darias, has also tested positive for the virus.
Javier Ortega Smith, the secretary-general of the far-right Vox party, tested positive on March 10, causing the suspension of Spain’s lower house of Parliament. The leader of the party, Santiago Abascal, later tested positive.
Quim Torra, the leader of Spain’s Catalonia region, where Barcelona is located, as well as Pere Aragones, Catalan deputy head of government, have both tested positive.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., became the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, sending a wave of fear through the Republican-run upper chamber of Congress.
Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, a nine-term Florida Republican, and Ben McAdams, a freshman Democrat from Utah, were the first two members of U.S. Congress to test positive for the coronavirus last Wednesday.
Paul entered into quarantine in Kentucky and was continuing to work, while staffers in Paul’s Washington, D.C., office had been working remotely for the past 10 days, Fox News learned. His spokesman confirmed that the senator had been at the Senate gym Sunday morning before learning of his diagnosis and leaving for Kentucky; Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said he saw Paul at the gym and kept a safe distance.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine,” Paul’s staff tweeted Sunday afternoon. “He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”
In response and upon recommendation from the attending physician, Sen. Mike Lee he was not tested initially for COVID-19 because he didn’t show symptoms but decided to self-quarantine for 14 days after possible exposure to the virus through his interactions with Paul.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and several other members of Congress also have announced they would self-quarantine after they had possible exposure to the virus.
Diaz-Balart, 58, said he would self-quarantine in Washington, D.C., to avoid exposing his wife, who has underlying health conditions, to the illness at their South Florida home. He said he first started feeling symptoms on March 14, hours after he and more than 400 other members of Congress voted on the House floor for a bill on coronavirus response, Politico reported.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said in the statement. “However, it is important that everyone take this extremely seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
McAdams, 45, said he began showing symptoms on March 14 after returning home to Utah, where his doctor recommended that he self-quarantine.
House minority whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., as well as Reps. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., and Ann Wagner R-Mo., all subsequently announced they’d self-quarantine as a precaution after coming into contact with either infected congressmen either during the March 13 House floor vote or in meeting earlier that week.