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For Boris Johnson, and possibly Trump, Covid as a metaphor is hard to shake

“I could refute these criticisms of my athletic ability however they want: arm wrestling, leg wrestling, Cumberland wrestling, sprinting, you name it,” Mr Johnson said, sounding a bit like Mr Trump, who despite being 74 years old and moderately obese, he attributes his recovery to the fact that he is a “perfect physical specimen”.

The two leaders sought to make political arguments after their discharge from hospital: Mr. Trump about the miraculous qualities of the drugs he was treated with, which he promised to distribute free to all Americans; and Mr Johnson on the miracle workers who treated him – the doctors and nurses of the National Health Service, perhaps Britain’s most revered institution.

But Mr Johnson, unlike Mr Trump, came out of his illness with a new appreciation for the mortality of the virus and his own vulnerability. He spoke fondly of how nurses in the intensive care unit took turns giving him oxygen, which Mr. Trump, who also received supplemental oxygen, did not mention. .

Mr Johnson has also become a reluctant supporter of protective measures, a position that has put him at odds not only with Mr Trump but also with members of his own party who are concerned about the damage lockdowns are doing to the economy.

The Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative conference was a concession at the time. As he usually delivered the speech in a giant hall with party worshipers lined up in front of him, Mr Johnson instead faced a camera in an empty room. “There is no one to applaud or heckle,” he lamented.

He did his best to turn the page, outlining his vision for a post-Covid future for Britain: ambitious investments in wind turbines and windmills, under the slogan ‘Build Back Better’, which is Also found to be the jobs slogan and stimulus package of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential candidate.

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