Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy claimed he seriously considered intentionally infecting himself with the coronavirus to show people that â€œitâ€™s not the plague.â€
â€œI wanted to go through this process. I wanted to get sick with the coronavirus,â€ Zelenskiy told Ukrainian Pravda in an interview published Tuesday, after being asked whether he was afraid of catching it.
â€œWhy? To make it easier for people,” Zelenskiy said. “We gathered together [with the team], and I suggested to our people: â€˜Come on, Iâ€™ll get sick, Iâ€™ll immediately be isolated … Iâ€™ll sleep it off, etc, and live through it normally. So that people understand that itâ€™s scary, to an extent, you can get sick, you feel unwell, [but] I’ll go through it myself and show them … so they understand, so there’s no depression, that it’s not the plague. Because weâ€™ve forgotten now, but at the very beginning there was a very scary moment when everyone thought weâ€™d all die.â€
Asked whether there was a specific person from whom he planned to catch the virus, Zelenskiy said “no, but we understood that in the center there were people lying [in hospital], it wouldn’t have been complicated.”
â€œThe only thing that stopped me is that someone said that people might say itâ€™s a PR stunt,” Zelenskiy said, before adding: “Of course, my family wouldn’t have forgiven me. They would have said I’m crazy. And actually they would have been right.”
Zelenskiy made the comments during a two-day trip to the Khmelnytskyi region last week.