Presidents and Pathogens

With news today that President Trump has tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, I’ve received a number of messages and phone calls asking for a historical perspective on what is going on. President Trump is not the first Chief Executive who has had to deal with a disease. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracted the disease in March and was hospitalized in intensive care because his symptoms were serious. President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil also contracted COVID-19, but his condition was not reported as serious at any time, and — like Mr. Johnson — continued in power throughout the course of his illness.