Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced that he tested negative for the novel coronavirus more than two weeks after being diagnosed on July 7, appearing to attribute his recovery to an unproven antimalarial drug.
“RT-PCR for Sars-Cov 2: negative. Hello everyone, ”the 65-year-old tweeted, accompanied by a photo of him smiling and holding a sachet of hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness against COVID-19 has not been demonstrated in clinical trials.
He didn’t say when he took the last test. On Wednesday, he had tested positive for the third time.
The president has regularly played down the virus, which he describes as a “little flu” despite its current devastation on the country. The Latin American country has recorded nearly 2.3 million cases and more than 84,000 deaths, and the numbers have continued to rise rapidly.
Bolsonaro spent nearly 20 days in isolation at his official residence in the capital Brasilia.
Before his diagnosis, Bolsonaro had spent many weekends since the start of the pandemic in close proximity to supporters, sometimes without a mask.
Continuously flout restrictions
Bolsonaro is a fierce critic of the stay-at-home measures and has argued 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”.