Health

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19 in Brazil, calling it “a little flu.” Brazil has the second-highest number of cases in the world.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro in June 2020. | Getty Images
President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro in June 2020. | Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Tuesday.

Bolsonaro, 65, made the announcement one day after getting tested with flu-like symptoms and a fever, the Washington Post reported. Over the weekend, he attended a Fourth of July celebration at the American embassy in Brazil’s capital, adding to the numerous high profile events he has attended during the pandemic. The American ambassador to the country says he will also get tested as a result of the announcement.

The number of coronavirus cases in Brazil, more than 1.6 million, is second only to the U.S., which has nearly 3 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of coronavirus in Brazil, as well as promoted unproven drugs for treatment, including hydroxychloroquine. He has also been criticized for calling the coronavirus “a little flu” and has tried to shift focus on the economy.

President Trump, who is an ideological ally to Bolsonaro, announced travel restrictions from Brazil in May.

“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Federative Republic of Brazil threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security,” the travel order read.

In March, local outlets in Brazil reported Bolsonaro had tested positive for COVID-19, but he said he was negative.