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Boris Johnson receives oxygen treatment in ICU amid questions about who’s running the UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been receiving oxygen treatment for coronavirus in intensive care, a senior member of the Cabinet confirmed.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said in an interview with the BBC that the Prime Minister was “not on a ventilator” but had “received oxygen support.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that Johnson was “receiving the very best care” at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, after being taken into intensive care at 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) on Monday.
“And of course, one of the reasons for being in intensive care is to make sure that whatever support the medical team consider to be appropriate can be provided,” Gove said.
Gove later said he was self-isolating at home because a member of his family was showing coronavirus symptoms. Gove said on Twitter that he was not displaying any symptoms and was continuing to work. He’s the latest in a long line of British government ministers and advisers to be forced into isolation.
Johnson’s hospitalization has highlighted the lack of a formal line of succession in the UK government. Johnson, 55, nominated the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, who also holds the title of First Secretary of State, to deputize for him “where necessary.” But the is no official deputy recognized by UK law or the country’s largely unwritten constitution.
Few formal powers are invested specifically in the UK prime minister and key decisions are taken collectively by the Cabinet or its sub-committees. Many statutory powers are held by individual secretaries of state. But in recent decades, holders of the UK’s top political office have adopted a more presidential style, and the sweeping nature of the ruling Conservative Party’s most recent election victory was attributed to Johnson’s personal appeal with voters.
“The Prime Minister has a team around him who ensure the work of government goes on,” Gove told the BBC. He said Johnson had a “stripped-back diary” last week to make sure he could follow the medical advice of his doctors.
Gove confirmed that Raab was now in charge of seeing through Johnson’s plan to tackle the novel coronavirus. “Dominic [Raab] takes on the responsibilities of chairing the various meetings the PM would’ve chaired but we’re all working together to implement the plan that the PM has set out,” he said.
But Gove sidestepped a question about who held the “nuclear codes,” saying he would not discuss national security issues.


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