For Boris Johnson, catching covid-19 was sobering. Less so for Trump.

President Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson both played down their covid-19 symptoms. (From left: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post; Reuters/Toby Melville)

LONDON — President Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have prompted many comparisons over the years: as populists, as politicians who aren’t afraid to offend, as people who play fast and loose with the facts. Now, they are a pair of world leaders with personal experience of the novel coronavirus.

But whereas Johnson spent weeks trying to fight off and then recover from the virus, Trump claims to have beaten it in just days. Johnson came back to work urging patience and determination, describing the virus as an “invisible mugger” that must be wrestled to the floor with collective action. Trump returned to the White House on Monday night playing down the virus, declaring: “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.”

Here’s where their journeys overlapped — and where they diverged.

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