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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom who has become known for his boisterous efforts to finish the process known as “Brexit,” has announced that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and “mild symptoms” of the COVID-19 illness.

In the UK, there are more than 17,000 confirmed cases and at least 1,019 people have died, according to the BBC.

“Hi, folks I want to bring you up to speed with something that’s happening today, which is I have developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say a temperature and a persistent cough. On the advice of the chief medical officer, I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive. So I am working from home, I’m self-isolating, and that’s entirely the right thing to do,” said Johnson, who took over at No. 10 Downing Street last year, promising swift action on Britain’s acrimonious divorce from the European Union, known as “Brexit.”

“But be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus,” added Johnson, 55, who has sometimes been compared in style to Donald Trump. “I want to thank everyone who is involved. I want to thank, of course, above all, our amazing [National Health Service] NHS staff. It was very moving last night to join in that national clap for the NHS.

“But it’s not just the NHS, it’s our police and social care workers and teachers, everybody who works in schools and [Department for Work and Pensions] DWP staff. It’s an amazing national effort by the public services, but also by every member of the British public who’s volunteering, incredible response, 600,000 people have volunteered to take part in a great national effort to protect people from the consequences of coronavirus,” Johnson said. “I want to thank you, I want to thank everybody who is working to keep our country going through this epidemic. We will get through it, and the way we will get through it is, of course, by applying the measures you’ve heard so much about.

“And the more effectively we all comply with those measures, the faster our country will come through this epidemic and the faster we will all bounce back,” he added. “So thank you to everybody who is doing what I’m doing, working from home to stop the spread of the virus from household to household. That’s the way we’ll win. We are going to beat it and we’ll beat it together. Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

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