British PM admitted to hospital

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British PM admitted to hospital

Postby toucana on April 5th, 2020, 4:27 pm 

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests - 10 days after confirming he had contracted coronavirus.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-prime-minister-admitted-to-hospital-for-coronavirus-tests-11969053

Mr Johnson still has persistent symptoms and a high temperature - and was taken to hospital on the advice of his doctor.

The admission is said to be a precautionary rather than emergency measure. It is not known whether he will remain in hospital overnight.

The prime minister is still leading the government response to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is understood.

Mr Johnson has been in self-isolation in 11 Downing Street since testing positive.
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby toucana on April 6th, 2020, 5:58 pm 

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now been moved into an intensive care ward at Thomas' Hospital in Westminster London after his condition deteriorated during the day. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been asked to deputise for him as necessary.

It is over 100 years since a situation of this type last arose, when Liberal leader David Lloyd George was Prime Minister.

On Wednesday the 11th September in the year 1918, the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George was making a morale raising visit to the city of Manchester. The Prime Minister was warmly greeted on his arrival at Piccadilly train station by cheering throngs of female munitions workers, and soldiers on furlough who mobbed him all the way to a public speech in Albert Square.

It was later that evening at Manchester Town Hall that the Prime Minister was taken ill with a sore throat and a high fever. His political aides quickly cancelled the PM’s public engagements as his condition worsened, and they made urgent plans to transport the Prime Minister back to London at the earliest oppportunity.

They were forestalled by the PM’s personal physician who told them bluntly that it was already too late to contemplate moving the patient. Lloyd George had contracted the deadly Spanish Influenza which was just taking hold in the form of a global pandemic that killed Eric the crown prince of Sweden, and had stricken King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Any attempt to move the PM back to London would almost immediately kill him, as he was already too weak to survive the journey warned the doctor. If the Prime Minister was to survive and be nursed back to health it would have to happen right here in the Manchester Town Hall where they already were.

Conscious of the propaganda gift that such a story would offer to the Germans at a crucial late phase of the war, war-time censors played down the severity of the Prime Minister’s illness, and provided anodyne explanations for his change of schedule. It took some 11 days for the crisis to pass. During that time nursing staff and supplies of medical equipment including a respirator were brought to the makeshift sick-room at Manchester Town Hall as they battled to keep the PM alive. “It was touch and go” recalled his valet years later.

Lloyd George who was 55 years old at the time recovered from the Spanish Influenza (as did US President Woodrow Wilson, and then deputy Secretary of the US Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Lloyd George remained British Prime Minister until 1922. He eventually died in 1945 aged 82.


https://nationalinterest.org/feature/leaders-and-illness-how-winston-churchill-dodged-influenza-pandemic-woodrow-wilson-david
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby Serpent on April 6th, 2020, 6:19 pm 

Yes, yes, yes, Johnson got sick. So did many thousands of other people - including many thousands who, unlike Johnson, have done nobody any harm - and they don't each get a million hours of air-time and a million column-miles of newsprint. In a pandemic, people get sick. They get better or they die.
What bloody difference does their occupation make?
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby toucana on April 6th, 2020, 6:36 pm 

It matters because these outcomes tend to affect the political leadership of nations.

Ever wonder what might have happened if President Woodrow Wilson had died of Spanish Influenza before WWI ended ? Or even worse, how history might have changed if his deputy Secretary of Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died in the pandemic in 1918 (as he very nearly did), and had not lived to become the 32nd US President, and the man who guided America out of the Great Depression, and through most of WWII ?
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby Serpent on April 6th, 2020, 9:17 pm 

toucana » April 6th, 2020, 5:36 pm wrote:It matters because these outcomes tend to affect the political leadership of nations.

Ever wonder what might have happened if President Woodrow Wilson had died of Spanish Influenza before WWI ended ? Or even worse, how history might have changed if his deputy Secretary of Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died in the pandemic in 1918 (as he very nearly did), and had not lived to become the 32nd US President, and the man who guided America out of the Great Depression, and through most of WWII ?

No, I haven't. History can't change. When something happens, the future changes. History is only what did happen, not what might have happened.
If things had happened differently, things would be different. You can't consider all the variables: there are simply too many. If one man wins an election, another one loses and the nation has a different government. If one head of state is assassinated, or drowns in his bathtub, another one takes over and the nation has a different government. Maybe worse, maybe better.
In this case, I can't see how the heroic leadership of Boris Johnson is so crucial to England - let alone the United Kingdom! - compared to the leadership of whoever takes over if he's out of the picture.

But that's all by the way.
What I'm fed up with is the endless variations of: "He's sick. That's all we know."
No amount of speculation changes into facts. There is nothing more to report until something else happens.
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby toucana on April 7th, 2020, 1:32 am 

My thread didn't simply reiterate what was already in the news headlines. It provided a detailed historical note on what happened the last time a British Prime Minister was taken seriously ill with a respiratory illness during a global pandemic; and that was 102 years ago, well beyond the threshold of living memory for most readers.

There is a well known aphorism attributed to George Santayana on what tends to happen to those who do not remember the past.

I commend it to your attention.
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby Serpent on April 7th, 2020, 9:13 am 

Wondering what would have happened if somebody died a hundred years ago will not effect either the past or the future. Johnson's already done a good deal of harm. He may do more, or he may not - my hearing about it won't be a decisive factor in the outcome.

What if Teddy Roosevelt had been killed by a lion before he even had a chance at the presidency and maybe those extra 4000 people wouldn't have died building the Panama Canal. What if Ferdinand de Lesseps had died of whooping cough in 1809? Maybe another 12,000 would have survived in Panama.
If they died afterwards - which they were bound to - it doesn't matter because the thing they're famous for is already done.
Either there would have been no canal and The Holy Economy would have muddled through some other way, or else some other movers and shakers might have got it built with fewer or more casualties. Maybe the whole course of US-Central American relations would have been different.

What if Hitler had died of Spanish flu? Or if Lincoln's parents never met? What if Herod's soldiers had found baby Jesus that time he was hiding in Egypt?
If things don't happen one way, they happen some other way.
The evil that men get a chance to do lives after them - whatever they die of - and they will die.
And no matter how much commentators speculate, whatever happens will happen anyway.
I very much doubt that my recollection of Lloyd George will help or hurt Great Britain.
(As the long as Her Majesty is all right. GSERII!)
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby TheVat on April 7th, 2020, 9:46 am 

Easy, tiger. While I understand the frustration, this is turning into a harangue that seems misdirected. Toucan is making a fairly simple point, that what happens to a head of state does have some significance to what happens next. Understanding historical events is part of developing some sense of the web of causes and effects that may sharpen our vision of what's coming. And there is also just the intellectual pleasure of learning history. What Richard Feynman called "the joy of finding things out."
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby Serpent on April 7th, 2020, 10:35 am 

I appreciate history, and its lessons. Will Durant is one of my heroes.
Toucana is another.

All I'm trying to get at is the difference between history and that branch of speculative fiction which takes us into alternate realms of the past. Both are interesting, but they should remain separate in our consciousness.
In our days, the confusion of concepts poses what may be our greatest danger.
What I have a real problem with is that 24-hour news outlets don't seem to understand the difference between news reporting and public cud-chewing.
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Re: British PM admitted to hospital

Postby Serpent on April 7th, 2020, 12:53 pm 

Let me try to elaborate more temperately.

This PM has not, so far, been the best thing ever to have happened to Great Britain. He had not been the best possible leader as regards the European Union - and the UK economy in general. He has not even been the best possible PM Great Britain might have wished for in a pandemic.
Excerpt from Politico article:
The supposed strategy seemed to be in line with comments Johnson gave on TV two weeks ago — in a clip that went viral — where he said that "one of the theories" was that "perhaps you could take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population, without taking as many draconian measures."


I don't feel that it's entirely fair to compare him to Lloyd George, or to compare the current politico-economic climate to the last days of WWI.
In making that comparison, and in then proceeding to speculate on the possible outcomes of the present situation, the chronicler enters a labyrinth without a clew. Moreover, he invites an unsuspecting audience to follow -- until they lose track even of his misguidance. Because
1. These two situations are not analogous. The only point of congruence is a 55-year-old man who occupies the office of PM contracting a virulent strain of influenza. There is very little of present political significance to be inferred from that single fact.
2. There is a less than 0.001% chance of objective, reasoned, fact-based analysis coming from the media in the present circumstances. The man's sick - everybody has to pretend they like him.
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