Dominic Raab said he feared Boris Johnson 'would die of coronavirus'

‘I worried we might lose him’ Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he feared Boris Johnson would die after contracting coronavirus

  • Dominic Raab spoke about Mr Johnson’s illness at virtual Tory party conference
  • The Conservative leader was rushed to intensive care after contracting Covid-19
  • Mr Johnson later said ‘it could have gone either way’ in video after his recovery

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has revealed he feared Boris Johnson would die after the Conservative leader was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

The Prime Minister was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London.

Mr Raab deputised for the Prime Minister during his time in intensive care and during his recovery afterwards.

Now the First Secretary of State has revealed to fellow Tories at a virtual Conservative Party conference that he was ‘worried we might lose him’. 

Speaking about how the virus had ‘hit us hard, taking lives on a tragic scale’, he said: ‘It nearly took the life of our Prime Minister, our friend as well as our leader.

‘I get asked a lot how I felt, when I covered for him.


Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured left) has revealed he feared Boris Johnson would die after the Conservative leader was admitted to hospital with coronavirus. The Prime Minister (pictured right) was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London

‘Well, I really worried we might lose him, and I was worried for Carrie (Symonds) pregnant with baby Wilf.

‘But I always had faith that, with the outstanding NHS care he received and his fighting spirit, he’d pull through.’ 

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’.

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’

The 55-year-old said he was indebted to the doctors and nurses who treated him, saying: ‘I owe them my life. I can’t thank them enough.’

He has since been on a mission to shed the pounds, expressing his belief that his excess weight led to his close brush with Covid.

In an interview with the Telegraph, the Prime Minister said he was now ‘thinner’ having lost almost two stone.

‘I try not to eat too much sometimes, and it’s basically about taking lots of exercise and not eating so much,’ he told the paper.

‘That’s my top tip. Eat less, move more, weigh less.’

He also told the BBC that reports he was preparing to step down next year was ‘sinister disinformation’.

Rumours swirled in the summer that the Prime Minister would not complete a full-term in office after claims from top aide Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law, Sir Humphry Wakefield, that he was struggling in the wake of his coronavirus battle.

Michael Gove, speaking at the Tory Party conference, said the Tory leader had made an ‘amazing recovery’ from his bout of illness and described Mr Johnson as the ‘livest wire in the room’

During his conference speech, Mr Raab admitted to praying that the country would be ‘equal’ to the ‘greatest challenge in a generation’ as he stepped in the Prime Minister’s shoes during the pandemic.

Admitting there would be ‘lessons to be learnt’ following the Government’s handling of the crisis, he added: ‘I have to say, for every hurdle we faced, with every heart-rending loss, there was also a tale of courage, a moment of inspiration.’

Mr Gove and Mr Raab’s comments come as the President of the United States, Donald Trump, was confirmed has having tested positive for coronavirus this week.

Confusion has erupted over Donald Trump’s condition as he fights coronavirus after the president’s doctors said he is doing ‘very well’ while a White House source claimed his vitals are ‘very concerning’.

Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning alongside several other members of the president’s medical team.

‘This morning, the president is doing very well. The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. He’s been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic,’ Conley said.

Mr Gove and Mr Raab’s comments come as the President of the United States, Donald Trump (pictured on Thursday), was confirmed has having tested positive for coronavirus this week

Conley’s depiction was far more optimistic than one put forward by a White House source familiar with the president’s health who spoke to a Bloomberg Business reporter on background immediately after the briefing ended.

‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,’ the source said. The Bloomberg reporter passed that account along to the press pool.

The briefing raised more questions than answers as Conley declined to say what temperature the president had when he had a fever, whether he was on oxygen and when he last tested negative for COVID.

Conley told reporters the team was 72 hours into Trump’s diagnosis. But that would put the timeline at the president testing positive Wednesday morning.

Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley (pictured) offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning

Trump tweeted shortly before 1am on Friday he had tested positive.

On Thursday he flew to his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, for a fundraiser with about 100 people.

‘Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID, in a particular day seven to day 10, are most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. Thursday he had a mild cough with nasal congestion and fatigue all of which are now resolving and improving,’ Conley said.

Dr Shaun Dooley, a critical care physician, also spoke at the briefing and said Trump’s heart, liver and kidney functions are being monitored and are currently in good condition.

‘He’s in exceptionally good spirits,’ Dooley said of the president. ‘In fact, as we were completing our multidisciplinary round this morning, the quote he left us with is “I feel like I could walk out of here today” and that was a very encouraging comment from the president.’

Trump is currently undergoing a range of treatments including a polyclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that is not available to the public, remdesivir – an ebola drug that has already been shown to work against the virus – and vitamin D.

He is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (the generic name for Pepcid AC), melatonin and daily aspirin.

This evening, he tweeted: ‘Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!

‘Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!’

The world leaders and leading political figures who have had coronavirus 

Boris Johnson 

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that ‘it could have gone either way’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London.

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’.

The 55-year-old said he was indebted to the doctors and nurses who treated him, saying: ‘I owe them my life. I can’t thank them enough.’

He has since been on a mission to shed the pounds, expressing his belief that his excess weight led to his close brush with Covid.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump

The President of the United States Donald Trump and his First Lady tested positive for coronavirus this week

The President of the United States Donald Trump and his First Lady tested positive for coronavirus this week. 

President Trump was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, following his diagnosis.

The 74-year-old tweeted on Saturday to say he was ‘feeling well’. 

Matt Hancock

The Health Secretary announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 in April

The Health Secretary announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day as Boris Johnson – in April.

Mr Hancock’s recovery was more straightforward than the Prime Minister, who was taken to hospital, but he said he lost half a stone while was ill.

Michel Barnier

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator contracted the virus early in the pandemic in March

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator contracted the virus early in the pandemic in March.

After being diagnosed with the virus, the Frenchman said he was ‘doing well and in good spirits’ and announced he was ‘following the necessary instructions’ along with his staff. 

The 69-year-old returned to his post just under a month later. 

Prince Charles

Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March

Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 at the begining of the pandemic – in March. 

The 71-year-old self-isolated at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire after testing positive for the virus.

The Prince of Wales said he only experienced mild symptoms, describing himself as ‘lucky’. 

Other world leaders and leading politicians to have contracted coronavirus – all of whom have recovered – are:

Jeanine Anez – Interim President of Bolivia

Jair Bolsonaro –  President of Brazil 

Alexander Lukashenko – President of Belarus

Alejandro Giammattei – President of Guatemala

Juan Orlando Hernandez – President of Honduras 

Mikhail Mishustin – Prime Minister of Russia

Bruno Le Maire – France’s Finance Minister

Amit Shah – Home Minister of India

Peter Dutton – Home Affairs Minister of Australia 

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