October 2, 2020 at 5:01 AM EDT
‘The virus spares no one:’ Governments around the world wish Trump a speedy recovery, despite objections to his handling of the pandemic
By Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack and Antonia Farzan
Responses from world leaders began pouring in early Friday after President Trump and the first lady said they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, just one month before the November U.S. elections.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to respond Friday, writing on Twitter: “Wishing my friend @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS a quick recovery and good health.”
A senior member of the British government, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, wished “a speedy recovery.”
The prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, also wished the couple a fast recovery, as did Polish President Andrzej Duda. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter that he and “millions of Israelis” were thinking of the president and first lady.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a note to Trump, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. “I am sure that your innate stamina, high spirits, and optimism will help you cope with this dangerous virus,” the telegram reportedly read.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, added to the well-wishes, writing on Twitter that covid-19 “is a battle we all continue to fight. Everyday. No matter where we live.” Last week, Michel postponed a European Union summit and entered quarantine after a security guard he had close contact with tested positive for the coronavirus.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal wished the president a “swift recovery” but also struck a more critical note. Trump’s positive test result is “a sign that the virus spares no one, including those who are the most skeptical about its reality and gravity,” Attal said.
Trump has faced widespread criticism from abroad over his response to the pandemic. Foreign researchers have repeatedly rebuked the Trump administration for failing to adequately take into account scientific advice in the coronavirus response, even as U.S. scientists’ findings have helped to guide decision-making abroad.
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