“Everyone knew it would reach a significant portion of the population sooner or later. It was positive for me,” Bolsonaro said, referring to the Covid-19 test on Monday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bolsonaro’s press office told CNN, a subsidiary of CNN Brasil, that the president had been treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as he awaited the results of the fourth Covid-19 test in four months.
“I’ve had a lung test, my lung is clean, okay? I went for a Covid test a while ago, but everything is fine.”
The president, wearing a mask, warned people not to approach him. “You can’t get too close [to me], OKAY? Suggestion for everyone, “said Bolsonaro.
CNN Brasil reported Monday that the president said he had symptoms according to Covid-19, including a fever of 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). Bolsonaro’s office told CNN Brasil on Tuesday that his temperature was normal.
Bolsonaro has ridiculed the corona as a “small flu” and has appeared in public in the past at gatherings without a mask, even embracing supporters.
It has encouraged the country to reopen, even as the number of cases increases and has criticized local governments’ efforts to eradicate the virus through social measures such as quarantine orders and shelter.
Brazil is second only to the United States in the number of coronary heart infections and deaths. More than 65,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil, according to figures released by the country’s health ministry on Monday, and 1,623,284 cases have been confirmed so far.
The Brazilian leader had previously tested negative for corona in three separate tests. The tests took place between March 12 and March 17, after Bolsonaro returned from a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump in Florida and many in his environment were positive.
“Our lives must continue. Jobs must be maintained,” Bolsonaro said in the early days of the pandemic, during a March 24 speech broadcast on national television and radio. He maintained this position, arguing that the economic collapse of the lock could be worse than the virus itself.
He also continued to occasionally greet supporters without protective equipment – even after a court ordered him to wear a mask or face a fine. Since then, the order has been overturned.
Event on July 4 at the US Ambassador’s residence
Bolsonaro’s positive result comes just days after attending a July 4 celebration with US Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman.
Pictures from the rally show that Bolsonaro is not wearing a mask or observing social distances. In one image, he is next to several US and Brazilian officials, including Chapman, none of whom were wearing face masks.
Chapman stood right next to Bolsonaro in the photo, with his hand around the president. Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo was pictured on the other side of Bolsonaro.
Chapman also shared a picture of himself next to Bolsonaro on his official Twitter account, writing that he was “honored” to receive the Brazilian president on July 4.
CNN called the US Embassy in Brazil and contacted the State Department to comment on whether the ambassador or other officials have been tested for Covid-19.