Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Tests COVID-19 Positive After Months Of Downplaying the Virus

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. His diagnosis comes after he downplayed the pandemic for months, calling COVID-19 a “little flu”. Meanwhile, Brazil has 1.6 million cases and over 66,000 COVID-19 related deaths (and counting).

Bolsonaro, on a TV interview on Tuesday, announced that he is COVID-19 positive as per CNN reports. The President revealed that he had the symptoms of the virus on Sunday including cough and high temperature. By Monday he was unwell and took a coronavirus test. He tested positive on his fourth test after the first three came back negative. However, he said he is currently feeling “very well”. The news of his diagnosis comes after he took a lung exam after which he said his lungs are “clean” on Monday in another CNN report.

He also revealed that he is going to manage meetings over video conferences and won’t be meeting people in person. Bolsonaro admitted that the virus is fatal for at-risk groups like those in certain age groups and existing conditions saying “the virus could be decisive and lead to death — everyone knew that”. Bolsonaro is 65 himself. However, he had earlier dismissed the virus by calling it a “measly cold” and claiming “we’ll all die one day” as reports in The Guardian that chronicles just how much he has been criticised for his COVID-19 response. For months now Jair Bolsonaro has been averse to implementing lockdowns to curb the spreading of coronavirus out of concern for the economy and his inability to take the virus seriously put Brazil on the second position on the list of countries with the highest number of active coronavirus cases after the U.S.

On Sunday, the president was snapped with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo celebrating the American Independence day.

The U.S. Ambassador also had lunch with Bolsonaro on July 4. While the Ambassador doesn’t have any symptoms, he will be tested for the virus too as per reports on BBC.

Cover imge: Jair M. Bolsonaro/ Twitter