Bolsonaro tests negative for COVID-19, 2 weeks after diagnosis


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Saturday that he had tested negative for the new coronavirus more than two weeks after being diagnosed on July 7, attributing his cure to an unproven antimalarial drug.“RT-PCR for Sars-Cov 2: negative. Hello everyone, ”tweeted the 65-year-old, with a photo of himself smiling and holding a sachet of hydroxychloroquine, whose efficacy against COVID-19 has not been shown in clinical trials.

He didn’t say when he took the last test.

The president, who has regularly played down the virus he describes as a “little flu” but which is currently ravaging his country, spent nearly 20 days in self-isolation at his official residence in the capital Brasilia, the palace of Alvorada.

During that time, he underwent at least three other viral tests, all of which were positive.

Three polls released this week showed the leader, dubbed “tropical Trump,” would win re-election in 2022, despite his controversial handling of the virus crisis.

The pandemic has exploded in Brazil, the country with the most infections and deaths from COVID-19 anywhere in the world except the United States

The Latin American powerhouse has recorded nearly 2.3 million cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 84,000 deaths, and the numbers have continued to rise rapidly.

But Bolsonaro is a fierce critic of the stay-at-home measures, arguing that the economic pain they cause is worse than the virus itself.

The president appeared to continue to flout precautions against the virus even after his diagnosis.

On Thursday, he was seen riding his motorcycle and chatting without a mask with a team of guards outside the presidential palace.

On the same day, he admitted in a live Facebook video that he felt “a little unhappy to be jailed here”.

Bolsonaro also continued to greet midlife supporters, separated by a narrow reflective pond without a mask.

And he was spotted in the palace gardens feeding on – and occasionally being bitten by – rheas, a South American bird related to the emu.


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