Trump, who has repeatedly mocked his Democratic opponent for wearing masks, is not the first major elected official to become infected after downplaying the seriousness of the virus.
On 27 March, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, became one of the first world leaders to announce he had the virus. He was eventually admitted to hospital and treated in the intensive care unit.
Before his diagnosis, he was criticised for understating the threat of the virus and at one point early in the outbreak he boasted of shaking hands “with everybody” at a hospital with Covid patients.
On 7 July, Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who had repeatedly trivialised the pandemic, announced on live television he had tested positive. As the Covid crisis worsened earlier in the summer, he had boasted that he wasn’t worried about getting sick, saying his “athlete’s background” would help him stay strong if he became infected.
When he announced his diagnosis to reporters, Bolsonaro removed his mask and smiled, saying: “Just look at my face. I’m well, fine, thank God.”
Earlier in the pandemic, Monaco’s Prince Albert II tested positive, as did Prince Charles in the UK. The Russian prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, temporarily stepped down in April after contracting Covid. That same week, Guinea-Bissau’s prime minister, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, tested positive alongside three members of his cabinet.