COVID-19 and Fame

Author Stephen A. Berger, MD , 04-May-2020

Table of contents

Ask anybody on the planet, “What do Tom Hanks, Boris Johnson, and Prince Charles have in common?” and they will instantly shout – “Corona.”

Ask these same people, “Who were the three Prime Ministers that died of Coronavirus last month?” Few will respond, “Well…there was Nur Hassan Husein from Somalia, Mahmoud Jabril from Libya and Joachim Yhombi-Opango from Congo – who died (respectively) in London, Cairo, and Paris.”

As of May 4, no fewer than eleven movie stars had contracted COVID-19, nine with fatal results. Other victims include retired Commanders of the Turkish and Polish Armies, a well-known rapper, and a mafia hitman. Almost half of the famous COVID-19 victims have been athletes, not surprisingly from countries that report unusually high rates of infection (see list below).

History is largely written in the lives of famous disease victims. The “black death” of 1348 claimed only eleven well-known people, including the King of Spain, the Royal Consorts of England and France, four famous painters, and two Archbishops of Canterbury. In contrast, 62 famous people died during the “Spanish Influenza” pandemic, accounting for 39% of known causes of death in this population from 1918 to 1920!

COVID-19 in Athletes

 width=  – fatal
 width=  – soccer
 width= – American football
 width= – basketball
 width= – cricket


Ezequiel Garay   width=


 Jonathas de Jesus  width=


 Thomas Kahlenberg  width=

 Peter Madsen  width=


 Callum Hudson-Odoi  width=

 Norman Hunter   width=  width=

 John Rowlands   width=  width=


 Eliaquim Mangala  width=

 Arnold Sowinski   width=  width=


 Omar Colley  width=


 Jannes Horn  width=

 Timo Hubers  width=

 Luca Kilian  width=

 Fabian Nurnberger  width=

 Stefan Thesker  width=


 Zaccaria Cometti   width=  width=

 Fabio Depaoli  width=

 Innocezo Donina  width=  width=

 Alessandro Favelli  width=

 Luciano Federici   width=  width=

 Manolo Gabbiadini  width=

 Antonino La Gumina  width=

 Daniele Rugani  width=

 King Udoh  width=


 Henk Overgoor  width=  width=


 Morten Thorsby  width=


 Zafar Sarfraz   width=  width=


 Bartosz Bereszynski  width=


 Dusan Vlahovic  width=


 Mohammed Farah  width=  width=

South Korea

 Hyun-jun Suk  width=


 Baldiri Alavedra  width=  width=

 Mikel Arteta  width=

 Goyo Benito  width=  width=

 Jose Luis Capon  width=  width=

 Jose Luis Gaya  width=

 Benito Joanet  width=  width=

 Miguel Jones  width=  width=


 Albin Ekdal  width=

United States

 Tom Dempsey  width=  width=

 Rudy Gobert  width=

 Orlando McDaniel  width=  width=

 Donoval Mitchell  width=

 Christian Wood  width=

Stephen A. Berger, MD

Stephen A. Berger, M.D. is affiliated with the Tel Aviv Medical Center, where he has served as Director of both Geographic Medicine and Clinical Microbiology. He also holds an appointment as Emeritus Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Tel-Aviv School of Medicine. Dr. Berger co-founded GIDEON Informatics, developers of the GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network) web app, and the GIDEON series of ebooks.

Articles you won’t delete.
Delivered to your inbox weekly.