Brazilian President Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Dismissing The Virus

Bazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of dismissing the respiratory virus.

On Tuesday (July 7), Bolsonaro, 65, made the announcement to reporters who gathered outside of the presidential palace. "Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later. It was positive for me," the masked leader said in reference to the test he took on Monday. Prior to the news, Bolsonaro's press office told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that the President was being treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin after feeling unwell and running a fever of about 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just yesterday, Bolsonaro attempted to reassure supporters that he had taken a test and his lungs were clean. "I've done a lung screening, my lung is clean, OK? I went to do a COVID exam a while ago, but everything is okay," he said. He had previously tested negative for the virus during three separate occasions.

When it comes to global impact, Brazil is second to the United States in terms of numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths. More than 65,000 people have died of the virus in Brazil, as per data released by the country's health ministry on Monday. Bolsonaro previously downplayed the virus, referring to the pandemic as a "little flu." He went as far as condemning state governors for imposing lockdowns as that seemingly prompted job losses.

Photo: Getty Images

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