In a sign of how grave the situation had become, Downing Street said in a statement on Monday that Mr. Johnson had asked the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, to deputize for him “where necessary.” The pound fell against the dollar after investors reacted to the news.
After noting earlier in the day that the prime minister was still getting official papers, Mr. Johnson’s aides said he had been moved to the intensive care unit in case he needed a ventilator to help his recovery. Not every patient in critical care is ventilated, medical experts said, but many are – or are at least given oxygen. Mr. Johnson remains conscious, officials said.
For Mr. Johnson, , it was an especially cruel reversal. Just four months ago, he engineered the greatest Conservative Party victory since Margaret Thatcher’s in , delivered his promise to take Britain out of the European Union, and set in motion an ambitious economic program to transform his divided country.
Now, Mr. Johnson, a political phenomenon whose career has always had a quicksilver quality, finds himself in a debilitating battle after contracting a virus he initially viewed with characteristic nonchalance.