PARIS -- News that the world's most powerful man was infected with the world's most notorious disease dominated screens large and small, drawing shock, sympathy and some barbs for President Donald Trump.
The outpouring from world leaders and flagging stock markets Friday left little doubt that Trump's illness will have global implications -- even if they're still unknown. Trump's announcement on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus prompted a multitude of responses on the same platform, as well as others.
The positive test reading adds to investors' worries, especially about its effect on the Nov. 3 election between the Republican president and former Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. stock futures and most world markets fell on the news as did the price of oil.
From India to Qatar to Mexico, world leaders were quick to offer official sympathy from the top, many in the form of tweets directly to Trump. Trump is the most prominent on a growing list of powerful people who have contracted the virus, including many who were skeptical of the disease. Among his well-wishers were at least two who have recovered from the illness.
"I'm sure that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus," Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in a direct message to Trump released by the Kremlin.
World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted "My best wishes to President realDonaldTrump and FLOTUS for a full and speedy recovery." The Trump administration in July formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from WHO, although the pullout won't take effect until next year.
Trump claims that the U.N. health agency is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China. The U.N. secretary-general also sent in best wishes.
Italian right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini tweeted: "In Italy and in the world, whoever celebrates the illness of a man or of a woman, and who comes to wish the death of a neighbor, confirms what he is: An idiot without soul. A hug to Melania and Donald.″
WISHES FROM ABROAD
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized for a week in April after he contracted covid-19, wished Trump a "speedy recovery."
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who also recently recovered from a serious bout with coronavirus, has sent a message to Trump and the first lady extending his best wishes for a speedy recovery.
"I know this illness from direct experience, that can manifest itself also in an insidious way, but which can be overcome with correct and courageous behavior,″ Berlusconi said in a message.
Dr. Bharat Pankhania, who advises Johnson's government on communicable disease control, said he hopes that Trump's positive test sends a message.
"We need politicians, especially politicians like President Trump who has a lot of power and influence, to take this seriously and to support their scientists and clinicians in leading the outbreak management, rather than have political influence in trying to deny that this virus is in circulation and drag your feet around control measures because it suited your agenda."
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, speaking at a weekly news conference, did not mention Trump's reluctance to wear masks when asked about his infection, but she said the news "reminded me of how widely masks are worn in Japan."
Major media across the globe played up the announcement, with bulletins crawling across TV screens in Paris and Rome, Seoul and Beijing.
"To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement," Rabobank said in a commentary. "Everything now takes a backseat to the latest incredible twist in this U.S. election campaign."
China's official Xinhua News Agency flashed the news, and an anchor on state broadcaster CCTV announced it. Late Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted that she was "saddened to learn President and the First Lady of the US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine."
Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, tweeted in English that "President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom Trump once exchanged threats of total destruction and referred to him as "Little Rocket Man," also wished the president and his wife a speedy recovery. "He hoped they will surely overcome it," the Korean Central News Agency reported. "He sent warm greetings to them."
Multiple Arab news media outlets continuously broadcast footage of Trump and his wife after the virus announcement.
Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned satellite channel based in Dubai, cut to a long live shot of the White House. Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera channel brought in four commentators to discuss the "prevailing state of uncertainty" in the United States, questioning whether Trump could effectively steer a reelection campaign and run the country from quarantine. Middle East leaders closely allied to the U.S. sent out their best wishes, including Kuwait's new ruling emir.
Iranian state television announced that Trump had the virus, an anchor person breaking the news with an image of the U.S. president surrounded by what appeared to be giant coronaviruses. Later, an anchor noted that "the American president, who treated the coronavirus almost like it was nothing, finally caught it."
In addition to Johnson and Berlusconi, several other world leaders have contracted covid-19:
• Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, announced his illness in July and used it to publicly extol hydroxychloroquine, the unproven malaria drug that he'd been promoting as a treatment and was taking himself.
• Juan Orlando Hernandez, the Honduras president announced in June that he had tested positive. He was briefly hospitalized and released.
• Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, said in July that he had contracted it but was asymptomatic.
• Prince Albert II of Monaco, the ruler of the tiny Mediterranean principality, tested positive but his health was not worrying. He was the first head of state who publicly said he was infected.
• Alejandro Giammattei, the Guatemalan president said he tested positive for the virus in September. "My symptoms are very mild."
• Jeanine Anez, the Bolivian interim president, went into isolation for covid-19 in July, but she said she was feeling well.
• Luis Abinader, the newly elected president of the Dominican Republic contracted and recovered from covid-19 during his campaign.
• India's Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, 71, recently tested positive but his office said he had no symptoms and was quarantined at home.
• South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar was among several Cabinet ministers infected.
Information for this article was contributed by Danica Kirka, Nasser Karimi, Ashok Sharma, Ken Moritsugu, Jon Gambrell, Rod McGuirk, Mari Yamaguchi, Elaine Kurtenbach and Colleen Barry of The Associated Press.