Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro Has COVID-19

The president of the country with the second most cases and fatalities has tested positive.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the ceremony to extend emergency aid to informal workers, at the Planalto Palace, in Braslia, Brazil, on June 30, 2020. Photo: DIDA SAMPAIO/ESTADAO CONTEUDO (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

CNN (“Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19 after months of dismissing the seriousness of the virus“):

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19, following months of downplaying the virus.

Bolsonaro himself announced the result, speaking on Brazilian TV channels Tuesday.”

Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later. It was positive for me,” he said, referring to the Covid-19 test he took Monday.

Earlier on Tuesday Bolsonaro’s press office told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that the President was being treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as he awaited the result of his fourth Covid-19 test in four months.

Bolsonaro reassured supporters on Monday outside the presidential palace in Brasília that he had taken a test and his lungs were “clean” — following media reports that he had a fever.”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.”

The President, who was wearing a mask, warned people to not get near him. “You can’t get very close [to me], OK? Recommendation for everyone,” Bolsonaro said.

CNN Brasil reported Monday that the President said he was showing symptoms consistent with Covid-19, including a 38 degree Celsius fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit). Bolsonaro’s office told CNN Brasil Tuesday that his temperature was normal.

Bolsonaro has derided coronavirus as just a “little flu,” and previously appeared in public and at rallies without a mask, even hugging supporters.

He has encouraged the country to reopen, even as the number of cases rises, and has criticized local governments’ efforts to stamp out the virus through social distancing measures, such as quarantine and shelter-in-place orders.

Brazil is second only to the United States in numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths. More than 65,000 people have died of the virus in Brazil, according to figures released by the country’s health ministry on Monday, and 1,623,284 cases have been confirmed so far.

The comparisons with President Trump and the UK’s Boris Johnson are obvious, both in terms of his management of the crisis and bizarre insistence that it’s not that bad. Johnson changed his tune rather abruptly and earnestly when he himself became infected. One hopes Bolsonaro has a similar awakening.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Health
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    BoJo, Bolsonaro. . . two down, one to go.

    12
  2. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    I’m seeing in Brazil fearing that this will make Bolsonaro dismiss the virus even more than he is doing. I don’t know. He was barbecuing with the American ambassador(?) this weekend.

    1
  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Karma…it’s pronounced “ha ha, fuqer”

    2
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer fascist.

    1
  5. Kathy says:

    Johnson changed his tune rather abruptly and earnestly when he himself became infected. One hopes Bolsonaro has a similar awakening.

    We’ll see. he was just with reporters saying he’s fine.

    No way to tell when he got infected or how the disease will progress.

    I won’t speculate what he’ll do, though it depends on how trumpian he is. I can imagine El PITO screaming that he’s fine, even as doctors cut into his throat to insert a breathing tube.

    1
  6. steve says:

    He will have the mild version then announce it is no big deal. I am a total pessimist about this.

    Steve

    9
  7. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Two to go (Putin is the other one).

    5
  8. Kathy says:

    @Monala:
    @Michael Reynolds:

    Don’t forget his majesty, Manuel Andres the Last of Mexico. He’s meeting with El PITO this week.

    1
  9. An Interested Party says:

    Two to go (Putin is the other one).

    Don’t forget his majesty, Manuel Andres the Last of Mexico. He’s meeting with El PITO this week.

    Ack, there’s just too many shitty leaders who need to go away…

    2
  10. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer fascist.

    I can think of several.

    I mean, seriously, how many net lives would have been saved if Trump sat on a ventilator for a week in April and then died? Messy and unpleasant enough that everyone would have to take notice, whether they were left, right or apolitical? Jared too, while we’re at it.

    1