Boris Johnson, who led Britain out of the European Union in January after years of political chaos and paralysis, now finds himself professionally and personally tested like never before by the COVID-19 crisis.
The prime minister was riding high after winning a thumping election victory in December, and his initial response to the virus outbreak sent his personal popularity ratings soaring.
But Johnson himself was diagnosed 10 days ago with COVID-19 and was admitted to hospital with persistent symptoms on Sunday night, despite repeated insistence he had mild symptoms.
Just 24 hours later, he was transferred to intensive care.
The development, which prompted an outpouring of well-wishes from across the political divide, came as his government faces increasing criticism over its handling of the crisis.
Healthcare staff have complained they lack protective equipment, and like many countries, Britain lacks ventilators and mass testing for the virus.