UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has revealed that he was afraid Prime Minister Boris Johnson might die when he was hospitalised with COVID-19, reported The Sunday Times.
In a speech recorded for Saturday’s virtual Conservative conference, the foreign secretary said:
“I really worried we might lose him and I was worried for Carrie pregnant with baby Wilf. I hoped and prayed that we as a nation would be equal to it.”
Raab, who was nominated first secretary by Johnson and stood in for the Prime Minister for almost a month when he was taken to hospital on 5 April, opened up on the seriousness of his concerns for Johnson’s health at the time of his illness.
Boris Johnson, 55, was taken to London's St Thomas' Hospital on 6 April, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus, suffering from "persistent symptoms", including a temperature.
He spent three nights in intensive care before returning to a ward.
Raab continued to perform Johnson’s duties while the prime minister subsequently recuperated at Chequers, his country house in Buckinghamshire, about 40 miles north-west of London, with his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds. Shortly after Johnson’s recovery in April, Symonds gave birth to their son Wilf.
Raab was cited by The Times as saying:
“There’s a personal side of things. I know the prime minister as a colleague but also I would say as a friend… But I knew that when he woke up the first thing he would ask me is, “Have you cracked on with the plans to get us ready to ease out of lockdown?””
Johnson’s Health Tips
As he thanked healthcare staff for saving his life, in a video message after his discharge from St Thomas’ Hospital in London, Boris Johnson acknowledged that “it could have gone either way”.
Johnson later revealed doctors were at one point preparing to announce his death.
It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 12, 2020
The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/HK7Ch8BMB5
Since recovering from the ordeal, Johnson has been urging Britons to be less negligent of their health by boosting their exercise routine and diet. Johnson has also admitted he was likely more vulnerable to the respiratory virus because he was overweight.
He has since shed some pounds, bringing down his weight from 17st 6lbs before entering hospital to 15st 8lbs, according to The Daily Telegraph.
While admitting he had not entirely given up crisps or snacks, he said:
"It's basically about taking lots of exercise and not eating so much. That's my top tip. Eat less, move more, weigh less."
Dominic Raab spoke in the wake of the recent news that US President Donald Trump was admitted to hospital in Washington after contracting COVID-19.
The US president is now being treated at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he has recorded a video saying he feels "much better".
On Saturday White House physician Dr Sean Conley said Donald Trump had "made substantial progress" in treatment, adding that the team of medics remains "cautiously optimistic" about the president, who is receiving a mixture of antiviral, immunity-stimulating and experimental antibody medicines.