Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says his latest coronavirus test was negative
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Saturday that he had tested negative for the new coronavirus, based on a fourth test since he said July 7 that he had the virus. He later went for a ride on a motorcycle, mingling with wellwishers as he has often done since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Good morning everyone,” Bolsonaro wrote on Facebook after reporting that his latest test was negative.
The 65-year-old leader didn’t say when he took the new test. On Wednesday, he had tested positive for the third time.
Bolsonaro also posted a photo of himself with a box of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has not been proven effective against the virus.
Shortly after disclosing the negative result, Bolsonaro road his motorcycle to a motorcycle shop. On the way out, he took pictures with people nearby, removed his mask and put on his helmet.
Upon returning to the Alvorada Palace, his official residence, Bolsonaro greeted other motorcyclists and gathered with them to take photos.
Bolsonaro had spent many weekends since the beginning of the pandemic in close proximity to supporters, sometimes without wearing a mask.
On Thursday, he was photographed without a mask while talking to some workers in the garden of the presidential residence.
Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, is one of the outbreak’s epicenters. According to the Brazilian government, on Friday there were 85,238 confirmed deaths due to the coronavirus. The country has 2,343,366 confirmed cases. The real numbers are believed to be higher.
On Monday, two more ministers in Bolsonaro’s Cabinet said they had tested positive for the virus: Onyx Lorenzoni, the 65-year-old minister of citizenship, and Milton Ribeiro, the 62-year-old minister of education.
Bolsonaro’s administration last week completed two months without a permanent health minister.
The interim health minister, Gen. Eduardo Pazuello, who had no experience in the field before April, is facing pressure to leave the job. He took over after Nelson Teich, a doctor and healthcare consultant, quit in protest over Bolsonaro’s support for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, as a treatment for COVID-19.
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