According to a new report by The Guardian Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, has tested positive for COVID-19. He announced it on live television just recently. Though he was wearing a mask as he addressed the press, this strays from his previous attitude concerning coronavirus.
In the past, he minimized the pandemic and did not seem to take social distancing seriously. Currently, Brazil has now become the second-worst hit country after the United States. They have over 65,000 deaths and 1.6 million confirmed cases.
Turning 65 just this March, Jair Bolsonaro falls into a higher risk group for the disease. Earlier this year he claimed that if he got coronavirus, he would recover quickly because of his athletic background. As a result of this attitude, Bolsonaro attended crowded events and rallies while neglecting to stress the importance of mask wearing. Moreover, the President of Brazil has continually undermined the efforts of some Brazilian governors and mayors to mitigate the spread of the disease. He complained according to The Guardian, “Some authorities even forbade people from going to the beach.”
The first reports of the President’s suspected contraction of the virus came on Monday evening by local news authorities. They claim that Bolsonaro developed symptoms of the disease that included a persistent cough and a 100F fever. The president has told his supporters that his lungs are clear as of now after an MRI was taken. Many politicians around Brazil have offered statements of support to Bolsonaro hoping for a quick recovery including Sergio Moro (former justice minister) and Renato Casagrande (governor of Espírito Santo state).
These statements come despite the administration’s track record of downplaying the virus and encouraging people to get back to work. Bolsonaro is the second member of his household that has contracted the disease. The grandmother of Brazil’s first lady had to be intubated just this Sunday.