“There is no reason to be afraid. That’s life, ”added the president. ” Life goes on. I thank God for my life and the role entrusted to me to decide the future of this great nation called Brazil. ”
Bolsonaro, 65, has repeatedly trivialized the pandemic and flouted social distance, even as Brazil has become the second most affected country after the United States, with more than 65,000 deaths and 1.6 million cases confirmed.
In March, when Covid-19 made its first victims in Brazil, the far-right populist took advantage of an address to the nation to boast that if he were infected, he would quickly get rid of the disease thanks to his “Athletic past”.
Since then, Bolsonaro has continued to attend social events and political rallies, often wearing masks incorrectly, or not wearing them at all.
On Tuesday, after announcing his positive result, Bolsonaro walked away from the journalists he was speaking to, took off his mask and, smiling, said, “Just look at my face. I’m fine, fine, thank you my God … Thank you to all who have prayed for me … and to those who criticize me, no problem, continue to criticize as much as you want. ”
Bolsonaro’s diagnosis comes just three days after having lunch at the home of the American ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, in the capital, Brasília.
Also present during the Independence Day celebration were several senior cabinet officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, the Minister of Defense, Fernando Azevedo, and the president’s son, Eduardo, a politician who is Steve Bannon’s representative in South America. The men were photographed without a face mask.
Reports of the possible Bolsonaro infection first appeared on Monday evening.
An MRI scan of Bolsonaro’s lungs was also taken, the president telling supporters that he had shown them to be “clear.”
O Globo newspaper said it understood that the Brazilian president had started complaining of fatigue Saturday night after his lunch with the American ambassador, and that he still did not feel well on Sunday.
Bolsonaro repeatedly downplayed the risks of Covid-19 and urged Brazil to return to work to avoid a devastating economic crash, but is now the second member of his family to suffer the effects.
Brazil’s first lady 80-year-old grandmother Michelle Bolsonaro was reportedly intubated on Sunday after being admitted to the coronavirus hospital last Wednesday.
According to the G1 news site, Maria Aparecida Firmo Ferreira, who is said to be separated from the presidential clan, was found collapsed in the street by passers-by and taken to a hospital in Ceilândia, a satellite city outside Brasilia.
Bolsonaro’s response to the coronavirus sparked national and international outcry, with many blaming him directly for the high death toll. Brazil currently lacks a permanent health minister after two were forced to quit their jobs in less than a month after clashes with Bolsonaro over the pandemic.
Monday night, Bolsonaro’s son Carlos attacked his father’s critics who he said wanted the president dead.
“The huge number of people rooted for the death of the chief executive at this time should trigger immediate solidarity on the part of others [political] leaders, “Carlos Bolsonaro tweeted.
Another prominent politician, the mayor of the largest city in the Amazon, Manaus, was flown to hospital in São Paulo on Monday after also suffering from coronavirus last week.
“The doctors are optimistic and so are we,” said Arthur Virgílio, who reportedly received non-invasive respiratory support, in a WhatsApp message to the Guardian.