Officials: British PM Boris Johnson in intensive care, but not on ventilator

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care at a London hospital with the coronavirus disease but is not on a ventilator, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said Tuesday.

Police stand guard outside St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Tuesday, where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care. Photo by Andy Rain

Gove, who himself became the latest British Cabinet member to go into self-isolation, said Johnson is “receiving the best care” at St. Thomas’ Hospital after being admitted Sunday with “persistent symptoms.”

The British leader was moved to intensive care on Monday night, and while he has required some “oxygen support,” he has not been placed on a ventilator, said Gove, who is self-isolating at home after a family member showed mild COVID-19 symptoms.

Gove promised to update Britons if there is any change to Johnson’s condition.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, appointed by Johnson as his deputy while he is hospitalized, chaired the government’s daily “coronavirus war cabinet” meeting on Tuesday and said the 55-year-old prime minister is “in very good hands.”

Raab’s role as the country’s de facto leader brought concerns from some British lawmakers who sensed confusion atop the British government given Johnson’s condition.

Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative Party lawmaker, tweeted, “It is important to have 100% clarity as to where responsibility for UK national security decisions now lies. We must anticipate adversaries attempting to exploit any perceived weakness.”

Johnson’s illness brought well wishes from leaders around the world, including U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I want to send best wishes to a very good friend of mine, and a friend to our nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” he said during his daily coronavirus update Monday at the White House.

ByDon Jacobson