The Archbishop of Canterbury said he is praying for Captain Sir Tom Moore as the veteran was joined in hospital by his family.
The 100-year-old charity fundraiser was taken to hospital on Sunday, after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus the week before last.
Bedford Hospital said on Monday that Sir Tom had been joined by members of his family.
The Most Rev Justin Welby described Sir Tom as “a gift”, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think one of Sir Tom’s extraordinary achievements is to stand for all of us in the most remarkable way – in his courage, in the way he supported the NHS and raised so much money, and now to stand for all of us in this battle against Covid, he stands for every patient.
“In praying for him, we pray for everybody. And for his family who love him and care for him, not because he’s Sir Tom Moore but because he’s just their beloved father, grandfather, cousin, whatever it is.
“And so he stands for all of us in a remarkable way, and he’s been such a gift and so we carry on praying for him.”
Mr Welby added: “I think he comes from a generation that knew what real and complete suffering for the whole nation in a unique way was in war.
“And as a result he’s someone who has that determination. I have seen it in others of his generation, including my father-in-law who’s similar, and who demonstrated their constant positivity and their constant hope.
“And I think that comes from their experience, and this is a trial of our resilience and our capacity to rise above it.”
Downing Street condemned “absolutely appalling” online abuse aimed at the veteran.
Boris Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said: “The Prime Minister is thinking of Captain Tom very, very frequently at the moment, and his family, and deeply wishing – as the whole country is – that Captain Tom makes as swift a recovery as possible.”
As the Prime Minister condemns trolls attacking Captain Tom while he battles covid, here is what I said about them this morning: 👇👇 https://t.co/n8ADngKx5W
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 2, 2021
ITV Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan also hit out at the abuse from “disgusting vermin” aimed at Sir Tom over a holiday he took in December.
A statement, released on Monday evening with the agreement of Sir Tom’s daughters, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, said: “Bedford Hospital continues to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“At this time members of Captain Tom’s family are with him.
“We respectfully request that media give the family space and privacy and do not contact them directly so they can focus on their father, grandfather and father-in-law.”
The Second World War veteran’s family had confirmed his illness on Sunday, releasing a statement on Twitter which said he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.
The statement continued: “The medical care he has received in the last few weeks has been remarkable and we know that the wonderful staff at Bedford Hospital will do all they can to make him comfortable and hopefully return home as soon as possible.
“We understand that everyone will be wishing him well. We are of course focusing on my father and will update you when we are able to.”
A spokesman for Sir Tom’s family told the BBC that he had not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine because of the medication he has been taking for pneumonia.
Sir Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown last April.
He set out to raise £1,000 with his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.
In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen in a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.