Yet another world leader appears to have contracted the new coronavirus but has apparently already recovered without suffering any serious effects from the disease.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced recently that he fully recovered from a COVID-19 infection while remaining “on his feet” the entire time and without exhibiting symptoms of the illness, the Washington Examiner reported.
Interestingly, Lukashenko previously downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and refused to close the nation’s borders in the former Soviet bloc nation or issue lockdown orders on the citizenry.
Lukashenko claims “asymptomatic” case
Reuters reported that the 65-year-old Lukashenko, often described as Europe’s last dictator, is a former Soviet collective farm boss who rose to political power as the nation’s president in 1994, has ruled with an iron fist, and who brooks no dissent from the populace.
Of the coronavirus, he previously suggested that Belarusians could treat the disease by drinking vodka, enjoying a sauna, or even playing hockey, and said that the widespread fears over the virus were nothing more than a “psychosis” plaguing the world.
“Today you are meeting a man who managed to survive the coronavirus on his feet. This is what doctors concluded yesterday. Asymptomatic,” Lukashenko said in an address to military leaders in Minsk on Tuesday.
Without providing any evidence or source for his claim, the president added, “As I said, 97% of our population carry this infection asymptomatically.”
Reuters noted that Belarus has a population of around 9.5 million people, and as of Thursday, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the nation had 67,665 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 553 deaths from the virus.
Whether the people of Belarus believe their president’s claims or were rooting for his recovery is unknown, as Reuters noted that Lukashenko has cracked down harshly on any sort of dissent against his decades of rule.
In fact, Lukashenko recently jailed two of his political opponents in the upcoming Aug. 9 national election. He has also arrested journalists and protesters who have spoken out against him and his administration.
Furthermore, his address in Minsk followed an event in which he observed military and police drills of crowd control tactics, such as effectively using tear gas and water cannons. That spectacle coincided with growing street protests against both his handling of the pandemic and his bid to continue ruling the country.
All of that aside, and assuming he was truthful both about contracting the disease and recovering from it without showing any symptoms, it would be interesting to see what, if any, sort of treatments he was given after initially testing positive.