Guatemalan President Latest World Leader To Contract Coronavirus. Here Are The Other 7. – Forbes


Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has tested positive for coronavirus, the government confirmed Friday, joining at least seven other world leaders who have contracted the virus while simultaneously fighting to slow its spread.

Key Facts

Giammattei tested positive after developing a cough and body aches, but he plans to continue working while isolating at home, a local news outlet reported Friday.

Three other Latin American heads of state have contracted coronavirus in recent months, including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who tested positive in July after months of downplaying the virus and dismissing it as a “little cold.”

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández tested positive in June and then spent more than two weeks in a hospital for pneumonia symptoms, and interim Bolivian President Jeanine Añez contracted the virus in July.

Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom, was admitted to a hospital ICU while suffering from a severe case of Covid-19 over the spring.

Key Background

Giammattei enacted tight restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Guatemala over the summer, including a mandatory curfew and travel bans. The president began lifting some of these restrictions Friday, after occasional protests against his government’s strict response. The country has seen more than 3,000 deaths since April, but its case count is no longer growing like in other Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina.

Big Number

108,603. That’s the total number of new coronavirus infections reported in North and South America Thursday. The two continents are responsible for more than half of the world’s total cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.


More than a dozen members of the United States Congress have contracted coronavirus since March, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien caught the virus over the summer. President Trump has frequently declined to wear a mask and eschewed his advisors’ guidance on rallies and mass gatherings, but he has tested negative several times.

Further Reading

Guatemalan president and minister have coronavirus, cabinet to test (Reuters)

Coronavirus in the Corridors of Power (Foreign Policy)

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Guatemalan President Latest World Leader To Contract Coronavirus. Here Are The Other 7. – Forbes

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