Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he had tested negative for COVID-19 after at least three other results since July 7 indicated he had been infected with the virus.
The right-wing leader who had previously played down the disease posted on social media on Saturday that he had tested “negative” with a greeting of “BOM DIA A TODOS” or “GOOD MORNING EVERYONE” in Portuguese. The messages were accompanied by a photo of Bolsonaro holding a sachet of hydroxychloroquine which he credited for his speedy recovery.
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The Food and Drug Administration has warned against the use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, although it has previously been touted by President Donald Trump as a potential quick fix to the coronavirus.
Although Trump doesn’t mention drugs as often, Bolsonaro, a self-proclaimed populist, has maintained his support for the drug.
“We now know that there are other remedies that can help fight the coronavirus. We know none of them are scientifically proven to work, but I’m one more person they work for. So I trust the hydroxychloroquine, ”he said previously.
The 65-year-old president has gone further, dismissing the disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of people as nothing more than a “little flu.”
Those who disagreed with Bolsonaro in Brazil, meanwhile, were either sacked or won his ire. He has dismissed two health ministers since April and criticized governors and mayors whose lockdown measures he deemed too strict.
Brazil is second after the United States in the number of cases and deaths caused by the coronavirus. The country’s government reported on Friday that it had more than 2.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 85,000 deaths from the virus.