The president of the brazilian Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Monday
7 July 2020 11: 38 am
Updated at 17: 05
The president of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro declared positive for the coronavirus
BRASILIA — brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has announced on Tuesday to have been infected by the coronavirus, that he has long called “a little cold”, even if the pandemic has already made more than 65, 000 deaths in his country.
“The positive result [of the test] is just arriving”, said the head of the State, 65 years of age, stating, however, “go”, in an interview to several tv channels.
“It started Sunday, I felt not very well, it got worse on Monday, I felt fatigue and I had 38 degrees of fever”, he revealed.
“I made a radio to the hospital […] and my lungs were clean. The doctors have given me hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (an antibiotic) and after I felt better. I am perfectly well,” added Mr Bolsonaro.
“As president, I am always first in line. Life goes on, we need to be careful with the elderly, but not worth panicking,” said Jair Bolsonaro.
“I confess that I thought that I had already been infected before, without experiencing symptoms […]. If I hadn’t done the screening, I would have been able to contaminate people,” admitted the president, who appeared many times among his supporters, without wearing a mask or respect of distance physical.
He said that it would work now the more possible, “videoconference”, after the cancellation of several planned trips this week.
But that didn’t stop him from removing the protective mask he wore, at the end of the interview with the journalists: “as you can see my face and see that I’m fine !”
The announcement of the positive test has put the social networks in turmoil, with the hashtag #ForçaBolsonaro (courage Bolsonaro) or #forcacorona (for its detractors) as the top mentions on Twitter.
The director-general of the World Organization of Health, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has wished a “rapid recovery” the brazilian president.
“No country is immune, no country is immune, and no individual can be free”, he said, while the head of the emergency health of the WHO, Michael Ryan, has estimated that “prince or poor, we are all equally vulnerable” in the face of the virus.
The president Bolsonaro has always downplayed the seriousness of the virus.
“Given my background as a athlete, if I was contaminated by the virus, I wouldn’t have to worry about. I do not feel anything. At worst, this would be like a little influenza, a little cold,” he said at the end of march.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, it is fiercely opposed to the containment measures taken by the governors of the States, believing that the priority was to maintain employment to avoid the “social chaos”.
“Panic kills, too. The virus is like the rain, it reaches all the world, even if the older people must do more attention,” he said Tuesday.
Lawyer of hydroxychloroquine
The president Bolsonaro has also had to defend again tooth and nail hydroxychloroquine, the effectiveness of which against the COVID-19 has never been proven scientifically. It is recommended by the brazilian government, including for patients with mild symptoms.
“I felt bad, but if I had taken hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure, I do not present any symptoms”, he assured.
The us president, Donald Trump, which Mr. Bolsonaro is a fervent admirer, had revealed in may that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.
On Saturday, Jair Bolsonaro, has attended a reception at the american embassy in Brasilia on the occasion of the national holiday of the United States. On many of the photos published on social networks, it appears the face was discovered in the company of several ministers and the ambassador.
The brazilian president already had done a test screening in march, following a trip to Miami at the end of which some twenty members of his delegation had been contaminated.