U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an interview Saturday that doctors were beginning to discuss how to announce his death as he was being treated for coronavirus last month.
The prime minister told the British newspaper The Sun that it took “liters and liters of oxygen” to keep him alive during his weeklong stay at a London hospital, including three nights in the intensive care unit.
“It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” he said. “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario.”
Johnson, 55, said he was aware doctors were setting arrangements in case his health took a turn for the worst.
“But the bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,” he said. “That was when it got a bit … they were starting to think about how to handle it presentationally.”
The prime minister expressed frustration that “the bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction” and said he thought to himself about how the virus doesn’t have a cure.
“It was hard to believe that in just a few days my health had deteriorated to this extent,” he said. “I remember feeling frustrated. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better.”
Johnson has commended the nurses and doctors who helped save his life, including in a video released soon after his hospital discharge.
The prime minister and his fianceé Carrie Symonds named their son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, who was born on Wednesday, after ICU doctors Nick Price and Nick Hart, who treated the prime minister.
Johnson returned to work on April 27 after his coronavirus battle.