Like other countries around the world, the Republic of Ireland battles COVID-19, often referred to as the novel Coronavirus. Major numbers of people and pieces of equipment have been used to combat the deadly virus. The Irish Health Service Executive has called for retired medical professionals to return to work, The Guardian reports.

As it turns out, one of Ireland's retired medical workers is the current prime minister or taoiseach. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has been having a tough time of it politically. He's also taking up another job.

Leo re-registered as a medical doctor

Leo Vardkar is once again officially a physician in the Republic of Ireland.

He studied medicine, the family business, at Trinity College and The King's Hospital in Dublin. For several years, he was a hospital doctor before eventually qualifying to be a general practitioner.

At least to start out with, Varadkar probably won't be coming into direct contact with coronavirus patients. According to the BBC, he will take on phone assessments. In Ireland, people who suspect they have COVID-19 are supposed to call for a telephone assessment. Physicians on the line are supposed to help them know if they need to be treated in person.

Varadkar's entered the political arena at a local level in Fingal County. He was elected to Dail Eireann in 2007 from Dublin West as a member Fine Gael.

Dail Eireann is the lower house of the Oireachtas, Ireland's parliament.

In 2011, Varadkar became the minister of transport, tourism and sport. He held the post until 2014, when he became the minister of health. Varadkar remained in that position until 2016. He then served as minister of social protection until the following year.

In 2017, Enda Kenny resigned as prime minister and leader of Fine Gael. Although he would remain a member of Dail Eireann until earlier this year. Varadkar was selected as his replacement in both positions. Concurrently, he also took up the job of minister of defense.

Varadkar has technically already resigned as prime minister

Varadkar had a rocky time as prime minister. Support for Fine Gael has dropped significantly since taking over as its leader. After winning or finishing as the runner-up in every Irish general election since 1937, the party fell to third in 2020. Varadkar submitted his resignation to Irish President Michael D. Higgins. He has remained as a caretaker prime minister, in theory until a new government can be formed.

Forming governing coalitions between opposing political parties can be difficult under normal circumstances. Not surprisingly, the process hasn't seemed to be helped by a global pandemic. It's not out of the question that another election could take place later in the year.

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