Trump speaks with Boris Johnson after UK leader tests positive for virus

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE on Friday spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who revealed earlier in the day that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

"The President thanked the Prime Minister for his close friendship and wished him a speedy recovery," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

The two leaders discussed international efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and boost the global economy, which has cratered as businesses around the world are closed in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.


"The two leaders also expressed optimism that the United States and the United Kingdom would emerge stronger than ever," Deere said.

Johnson is the first major world leader known to have contracted the virus. The prime minister said in a video posted to social media that he would continue to work while self-isolating after developing mild symptoms. Johnson's health secretary also tested positive for the virus.

The United Kingdom was among the last developed nations to impose strict measures to keep citizens in their homes to try to stop the virus from spreading. Johnson initially took a more laid back approach to the virus, telling reporters at a press conference earlier in the month that he had visited a hospital and shaken hands with coronavirus patients.

As the U.K. and nations around the world issue shelter-in-place orders and shutter nonessential businesses to combat the virus, Trump has spoken openly about hoping to get Americans back to work in some parts of the U.S. by Easter Sunday, which is less than three weeks away.

Many individual states in the U.S. have directed residents to stay at home and closed businesses and appear unlikely to yield to Trump's preferred timeline.

The White House on Thursday outlined a project to map risk levels across the U.S. on a county-by-county basis to better assess which areas can ease back on social distancing measures. But the project will require significantly more testing and data, experts said, and the Trump administration is still dealing with shortages of supplies needed to conduct and process coronavirus tests.