Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro initially entered the hospital early Wednesday over what his communications team described as a chronic hiccup problem, and a possible corresponding issue centered on abdominal pain. He had described to reporters the night before that he'd been hiccupping for over a week and called it a "crisis" in those moments the hiccups unexpectedly come back, often making his ability to talk smoothly very difficult.
Initially the president's office said he was being kept under observation for doctors "to identify the cause of chronic hiccups" - but on Friday that appears to have changed. The medical team treating him says he's doing well and will "soon" be discharged, but a partial intestinal obstruction is now keeping him there with "no timeline" set for his exit.
- Estaremos de volta em breve, se Deus quiser. O Brasil é nosso! 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/3ohUwHBEHG— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 14, 2021
What initially appeared a mere 24 to 48 hour observational stay apparently could turn indefinite as speculation abounds. "Bolsonaro is making progress and continues receiving the same treatment, his doctors said in a note Friday, adding there’s no set timeline for his release," notes Bloomberg.
Earlier in the week Bolsonaro's team said his entire schedule for the rest of the week had been canceled due to the medical issues and need for evaluation. This as his presidency has been plagued by health issues, often leading to speculation about how dire a particular situation is, especially when he and much of his staff got coronavirus last year.
In 2018 on the campaign trail he was actually stabbed, his intestines injured - for which he underwent major surgery to save his life. However, he recovered surprisingly quickly and made a rapid return to making public appearances. The crazed attacker had said he was "on a mission from God."
On Friday he appeared to be doing better...
- Em breve, de volta a campo, se Deus quiser! Muito fizemos, mas ainda temos muito a fazer pelo nosso Brasil! Obrigado pelo apoio e orações. Um forte abraço a todos! 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/Lk3P14Nj5H— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 16, 2021
It appears that his ongoing intestinal issues stem from that prior attack, though statements from his doctors have not gone to this level of detail. Bolsonaro himself took to Twitter to confirm precisely that his current condition is a consequence of that prior attack.
CNN reported Thursday based on sources in his administration:
According to sources at the presidential palace, Bolsonaro felt abdominal pain at night, and he was admitted to a hospital in Brasilia to investigate the cause of persistent hiccups, the secretariat said.
Dr. Antonio Luiz Macedo, the physician who was responsible for surgeries on Bolsonaro following a knife attack in 2018, found an intestinal obstruction and decided to take him to a hospital in São Paulo.
Bolsonaro will undergo additional tests to see whether there is a need for emergency surgery.
There's since been contradictory reports, with some indicating he could exit the hospital as early as later in the day Friday.