Coronavirus, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now officially infected over 1 million people across the world – with the real, unofficial number likely far higher. While the disastrous economic consequences caused by the virus are likely to hit the poor hardest, it is not just the masses that have been hit by the virus – but also members of the political elite across the world.
In some cases such as Iran, there has been a high concentration of cases in the government, with 14 officials in the regime infected according to state media – and the real number potentially higher. Both Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and the country's first Vice President Eshaq Jahangari have tested positive.
Arguably the most important politician to get the virus is the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced he had caught the virus on March 27. As of April 3, the G7 leader was still self-isolating. Britain’s Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock also caught the virus.
Other prominent politicians who have been infected include Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero, well-known US Senator Rand Paul, and French Culture Minister Franck Riester.
The high infection rate among leaders could be part of a reduction in inequality as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, argues Steven Davies. According to Davies, as the famous book The Great Leveller points out, catastrophes such as wars and pandemics that typically bring about big reductions in inequality.
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