Brazilian President Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19
The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19. He took the test, his fourth, on Monday after developing symptoms, including a high temperature.
Mr Bolsonaro has always undermined the risks posed by the pandemic virus, calling it “a little flu” and saying that he would not be seriously affected by it.
He says lockdown hurt the growth of the Brazilian economy. He eased lockdown and on Monday diminished regulations on face masks wearing.
He has made some comments which clearly shows he sees the COVID-19 as a normal flu or little cold.
Jair Bolsonaro Remarks on COVID-19:
- “From what I have seen until now, there are other kinds of flu which have killed more people than that [coronavirus] one” (11 March)
- “Today we have information, that because we have a more tropical climate [in Brazil] we’ve almost reached the end [of the pandemic], or it’s already over (…) the virus doesn’t spread as fast in warm climates like ours” (18 March)
- “After being stabbed, I’m not going to be brought down by a little flu” (20 March)
- Back in April, he said that even if he were to be infected with the virus, he would “not have to worry as I wouldn’t feel anything, at most it would be like a little flue or a little cold”.
When he passed these comments, the number of Covid-19-related deaths was still under 3,000 and the number of infections was around 40,000.
On the contrary, the numbers have jacked up since then. As of Monday, the number of deaths was over 65,000 and infections were over 1.6m, second only to the United States.
Despite the rising numbers, President Bolsonaro has argued that regional lockdowns are having a more damaging effect than the virus itself, and accused the media of spreading panic and paranoia.
He has always disregarded the need to wear face mask on public events even when local rules required him to wear one. He was seen in a photo posted by the Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo on social media and others at the US Embassy in Brazil attending an Independence Day celebration.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo posted a photo on social media showing himself with President Bolsonaro and others attending at the US embassy in Brasilia.
Na Embaixada dos EUA, celebrando o 4 de julho, dia da independência americana. pic.twitter.com/CqtgUNxiSL
— Ernesto Araújo (@ernestofaraujo) July 4, 2020