Brazil’s President Bolsonaro is tested for coronavirus for a fourth time ‘after developing symptoms’ and previously dismissing Covid-19 as no worse than ‘a little flu’

  • President Jair Bolsonaro said his lungs were ‘clean’ after fourth test for covid-19 
  • Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus in badly hit Brazil
  • The country has suffered 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has undergone his fourth test for coronavirus and insists his lungs are ‘clean’ amid reports he had developed Covid-19 symptoms

Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus calling it no worse than ‘a little flu’, even as Brazil suffers one of the world’s worst outbreaks, with 1.6 million cases and 65,000 related deaths.

CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease, such as a fever.

Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just visited the hospital and been tested.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he had undergone another test for covid-19. Pictured: Speaking to supporters outside of the presidential palace yesterday after attending hospital

‘I can’t get very close,’ he said in comments recorded by Foco do Brasil, a pro-government YouTube channel. ‘I came from the hospital. I underwent a lung scan. The lung’s clean.’

The president’s office said in a statement that the president is at his home and is ‘in good health.’

The right-wing populist has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with the U.S. ambassador to Brazil during July 4 celebrations.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro as they hold images of people who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or police violence since the military dictatorship, at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 4, 2020

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 4

The U.S. embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter that Todd Chapman, the ambassador, had lunch on July 4 with Bolsonaro, five ministers and Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, who is a federal congressman.

The ambassador has no symptoms, but will undergo testing and is ‘taking precautions,’ the embassy said.

Bolsonaro tested negative for the coronavirus after several aides were diagnosed following a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in March.

CNN Brasil reported that Bolsonaro has begun taking the drugs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which he touts as a COVID-19 treatment despite little proof of their effectiveness.

Bolsonaro’s official events on Tuesday have been canceled, according to CNN Brasil. 

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