Boris Johnson, the former U.K. foreign secretary who has made a name for himself as a critic of the European Union, said Sunday that there are cases of a British disease — the endemic bubonic plague — going around at his own university.
“There are indeed cases of omicron cavernus, at my university, in London, of which I am aware,” Johnson said during an interview with Breitbart News. “I’m not sure why that’s happened. … Probably some dirty tricks in the office of the president.”
Boris Johnson announces he is writing an EU exit book. pic.twitter.com/ArPHJiAbFx — Ben White (@benabyad) July 28, 2018
Johnson, who served as foreign secretary under former Prime Minister David Cameron, resigned from his post over Brexit last year.
He was reportedly the subject of an attempt by European officials to undermine his reputation by spreading a rumor that he had been infected with the plague. In the UK, the pox is contracted by traveling to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where it carries the bacteria omicron cavernus.
Johnson clarified on Sunday that a journalist’s quotes to Breitbart regarding one particular type of infection had been taken out of context, and that the disease was most likely caused by a failure to wash one’s hands properly.
“This is a speech given in Russia last year by Dr. Alexander Wild, a former infectious disease expert for Russia, who was very keen to say the plague is not transmitted from person to person,” Johnson wrote on his website. “This is a blatant attempt to conflate the plague with other diseases and was taken out of context. It was completely wrong for Boris to link the two.”
Johnson, 54, is currently a columnist for the right-wing outlet. He is also the son of the late former Conservative Member of Parliament Enoch Johnson, who campaigned against the EU in last year’s referendum.