Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov confirmed via Facebook on Sunday that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Johanna Geron, Pool via AP

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov confirmed via Facebook on Sunday that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Johanna Geron, Pool via AP

United States president is the most high-profile political leader to have caught COVID-19 in a list that just this weekend has grown to include both Polish president Andrzej Duda and  – on Sunday –  Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

Meeting and greeting means heads of state are always prone to picking up the virus but looking at the list the question is, have they been unlucky or careless?

Some leaders have dismissed the danger from coronavirus to differing degrees and then picked it up, like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro or Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

There have also been former heads of state like ex-Italian president Silvio Berlusconi and members of royal families like Prince Charles, next in line to the UK throne, who have had the virus.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Andrzej Duda says he is in good shape after his positive test last Friday. Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto/Getty

Andrzej Duda says he is in good shape after his positive test last Friday. Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto/Getty

Andrzej Duda, Poland president 

Andrzej Duda, was found positive after a test on Friday and says he is feeling “good.” It comes as Poland has had a surge in cases. 

The president is in isolation but says that he doesn’t have any serious symptoms. He was pictured wearing a mask as he met constructions workers in Warsaw on Friday before the positive test result.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

has not been in favor of tough restrictions and was not badly affected when he got the virus. Win McNamee/Getty

has not been in favor of tough restrictions and was not badly affected when he got the virus. Win McNamee/Getty

, United States president

, 74, tested positive along with his wife Melania Trump in early October. 

The Republican president has given mixed messages about the dangers from the virus and has not been in favor of strong restrictions. He tested positive after an aide and family members picked up the virus but he was not badly affected by it.  

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Boris Johnson needed intensive care treatment in March after getting the virus. Pippa Fowles/Getty

Boris Johnson needed intensive care treatment in March after getting the virus. Pippa Fowles/Getty

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister

Infected in March, Boris Johnson was one of the first leaders to get COVID-19 and one of the worst affected, as he needed treatment in hospital intensive care. 

He received criticism for having downplayed the danger of the virus beforehand and not taking restrictions seriously enough. He had been seen shaking hands while carrying out his duties and did not put in place as strong a lockdown as in other European countries.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Michel Barnier overcame the virus at home following quarantine rules. Thierry Monasse/Getty

Michel Barnier overcame the virus at home following quarantine rules. Thierry Monasse/Getty

Michel Barnier, The European Commission’s Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator tested positive in March and was the first senior Brussels policymaker to get the virus. He followed quarantine rules and said he was in “good spirits” as he overcame the virus at home.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Jair Bolsonaro has always dismissed the threat of coronavirus and is concerned about the economic cost of lockdowns. Andre Borges/Getty

Jair Bolsonaro has always dismissed the threat of coronavirus and is concerned about the economic cost of lockdowns. Andre Borges/Getty

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil president

The Brazilian leader picked up the virus in July after refusing a lockdown in the country and choosing not to socially distance. He attended political campaigns and demonstrations where he voiced the dangers to the economy of shutdowns.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Alexander Lukashenko claimed that vodka and saunas are what are needed to overcome the virus. Andrei Stasevich\TASS via Getty

Alexander Lukashenko claimed that vodka and saunas are what are needed to overcome the virus. Andrei Stasevich\TASS via Getty

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus president

The Belarus strongman was asymptomatic when he picked up the virus in July. He has refused lockdowns in the country and defiantly said that people should fight it with vodka and saunas.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Avdullah Hoti took over due to a backlash in the way that the Kosovo authorities were dealing with the pandemic. Ferdi Limani/Getty

Avdullah Hoti took over due to a backlash in the way that the Kosovo authorities were dealing with the pandemic. Ferdi Limani/Getty

Avdullah Hoti, Kosovo

The Kosovan leader tested positive for coronavirus just two weeks after taking over on 2 August and self isolated with a mild cough.

He took office following a vote of no confidence in previous leader Albin Kurti who had refused to declare a state of emergency over the pandemic.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin picked up the virus along with several other cabinet ministers. Dmitry Astakhov\TASS via Getty

Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin picked up the virus along with several other cabinet ministers. Dmitry Astakhov\TASS via Getty

Mikhail Mishustin, Russia prime minister

The Russian prime minister got coronavirus during April when the virus was peaking in the country. He tested positive along with several other cabinet members and President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman. Russian authorities at the time were saying that they had the virus under control.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

claimed that he got the virus from a restaurant waiter. TASS via Getty

claimed that he got the virus from a restaurant waiter. TASS via Getty

, Armenia prime minister

The 45-year-old got coronavirus at the start of June along with other members of his family.

He wrote on Facebook that he thought he got it from a gloveless waiter at a restaurant.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Prince Charles only suffered mild symptoms and self-isolated in Scotland. Ben Birchall -WPA Pool/Getty

Prince Charles only suffered mild symptoms and self-isolated in Scotland. Ben Birchall -WPA Pool/Getty

Prince Charles, heir to the UK throne

The next in line to the British throne self-isolated in Scotland after getting coronavirus in March. He only suffered mild symptoms and said: “I got away with it quite lightly.”

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

The Prince of Monaco Albert II worked from home while he recovered. Corbis/Corbis via Getty

The Prince of Monaco Albert II worked from home while he recovered. Corbis/Corbis via Getty

Albert II, prince of Monaco

Albert, 62, was the first reigning monarch to test positive on 19 March. He worked from home without serious symptoms and recovered after two weeks.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Jeanine Anez has had to oversee one of the countries worst affected by coronavirus. Gaston Brito/Getty

Jeanine Anez has had to oversee one of the countries worst affected by coronavirus. Gaston Brito/Getty

Jeanine Anez, Bolivia interim president 

The 53-year-old interim Bolivian president picked up coronavirus as it swept through the country in July but she showed no symptoms.

Bolivia has suffered one of the highest proportions of deaths to population size in the world from COVID-19.

Juan Orlando Hernandez, Honduras president

The Honduras leader, 51, tested positive in June along with his wife. He was hospitalized with pneumonia but was able to carry on his duties remotely.

Alejandro Giammattei, Guatemala president

The Guatemalan leader, 64, was a high-risk patient due to age and he suffers from multiple sclerosis. He tested positive in September but only showed mild symptoms and was able to continue working from home.

Nuno Gomes Nabiam, Guinea-Bissau prime minister

The Guinea-Bissau leader tested positive for coronavirus along with three members of his cabinet but recovered after going into quarantine.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Pranab Mukherjee had underlying health problems before getting coronavirus. Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty

Pranab Mukherjee had underlying health problems before getting coronavirus. Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty

Pranab Mukherjee, former president of India

The president of India, from 2012 to 2017, had underlying health problems when he succumbed to COVID-19 on 31 August. 

The 84-year-old had a positive test ahead of surgery to remove blood clot in the brain, and died three weeks later.

Leaders with COVID-19: Bulgarian Prime Minister is latest in long list

Silvio Berlusconi needed hospital treatment as he fought the virus in September. Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Silvio Berlusconi needed hospital treatment as he fought the virus in September. Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Silvio Berlusconi, former Italy prime minister

The former prime minister and media mogul aged 83, tested positive at the start of September and needed hospital treatment for ten days before recovering.

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