Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro Confirms Positive Test For COVID-19

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020 - 11:51 AM

updateIt's official. Speaking to reporters while wearing a mask, Bolsonaro has confirmed his test results came back positive for COVID-19.

"I'm well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can't due to medical recommendations,” he said.

He told reporters that he's taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as well as the antibiotic azithromycin for treatment.

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Brazilian media is reporting early Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus, but the country and local media are still awaiting official confirmation.

CNBC reports Tuesday morning that "Brazilian news sources, including an affiliate of CNN — report that Bolsonaro has tested positive for the virus, but this has not been verified by CNBC or officially confirmed."

The prior day Bolsonaro had been feeling unwell and running a high temperature, his office said. The 65-year old leader was described by CNN as having a fever over 100 degrees, and reportedly began taking the anti-malaria pill hydroxychloroquine to help treat the virus. 

He went to the hospital Monday night for a lung scan and said he would get tested for conoronavirus, results of which are expected back this morning.

As recently as this weekend he was photographed enjoying festivities with cabinet members at a July 4th gathering at the American ambassador's residence, where as is typical for Bolsonaro and his entourage, no one was wearing a mask.

The Brazilian president was siting next to US Ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, during the party, raising concern. The New York Times reports the potential exposure has prompted Chapman to get tested:

Also on Monday night, the U.S. embassy signaled concern that the ambassador might have been exposed to the virus, saying that Mr. Chapman does not have any symptoms but intends to get tested and “is taking the proper precautions,” including following contact tracing protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control.

All of this comes after early in the pandemic crisis multiple aides of the Bolsonaro tested positive after a trip to meet with President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Since then the Brazilian president has tested negative for COVID-19 three times. He's also come under intense criticism locally and internationally for a seemingly cavalier approach to the virus.

According to CNBC this instance, and with symptoms present, is enough to prompt prompt cancelling all presidential events: "Local media reported Bolsonaro has canceled all his official activities until he gets the results of his test for Covid-19."

Brazil still ranks second in the world behind the United States in both confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths.