(Natural News) The 65-year-old president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has been confirmed positive for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), according to an announcement he made in front of a group of hand-picked reporters outside the Palacio da Alvorada, his official residence in the capital city of Brasilia Tuesday.
Bolsonaro started showing symptoms on Sunday. He reported that he was feeling weak and that by Monday he started getting other symptoms, such as malaise, muscle pain, tiredness, persistent coughing and a temperature of 38 C (100.4 F).
This happened after he celebrated the July 4 weekend with Todd Chapman, U.S. ambassador to Brazil, and with several of his top ministers in Brasilia. These ministers include the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the president’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro.
“It came back positive,” Bolsonaro said as he finally wore a mask, referring to his COVID-19 test.
Bolsonaro said that his team of doctors also scanned his lungs and found them to be “clear.” He added that his doctors immediately began treating him with chloroquine, and that if he hadn’t been taking the drug, he could have contaminated a lot of other people.
“I thank God for my life,” he added. “and the role I’ve been given to decide the future of this great nation that is called Brazil.”
After this, he removed his mask and, while grinning, he told the reporters that he was well and fine. “Thanks to all those who have been praying for me.” He also used this moment to attack his critics by saying that he was unfazed, and that they may continue criticizing him as much as they like.
Bolsonaro’s positive diagnosis makes him one of a handful of world leaders to contract the coronavirus, including the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson; the Prince of Monaco, Albert II; the First Vice President of Iran, Eshaq Jahangiri; and American Senator Rand Paul.
Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks about how the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, wants to suffocate the United States with a tyrannical national mask mandate.
Bolsonaro continues to downplay severity of global pandemic
Despite having to deal with COVID-19 himself, Bolsonaro continues to undermine efforts by governors and mayors in his country to slow down the spread of the coronavirus through enforced lockdowns, social distancing measures and other directives. He has called these actions overblown and panic-inducing, and he even criticized them for preventing people from going to the beach.
Bolsonaro has attended several rallies and events since the beginning of the pandemic, often without taking any anti-coronavirus precautions such as keeping his distance from his supporters or wearing a mask. He has even described COVID-19 as nothing more than a mere “sniffle,” despite the fact that the 80-year-old grandmother of his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, was intubated Sunday after being admitted with the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Even members of Bolsonaro’s cabinet have been critical of his lack of an effective response to the pandemic. He currently does not have a permanent health minister after the previous two were forced out after clashing with the president over pandemic policy.
Brazil pushes ahead with reopening
Despite not having a clear strategy for how to control the spread of the coronavirus, parts of Brazil went ahead and reopened their economies. In Sao Paulo, residents can once again go to the market, have lunch at restaurants, spend the evening at bars or attend religious services, even though the country currently has nearly 1.7 million cases of COVID-19, including 66,741 deaths – second only to the United States.
Bolsonaro has been pushing for Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city with over 12 million inhabitants, and other parts of the country to reopen their economies even without setting up proper, rational precautionary measures. When Luiz Henrique Mandetta, his former health minister, called for social distancing, Bolsonaro fired him.
The country’s reopening plans began in early June, when Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil eased restrictions by allowing many businesses to reopen, including malls and many retail outlets. These culminated on Monday, when Sao Paulo erupted in economic activity as part of their latest reopening phase. (Related: Brazil starting to ease lockdown restrictions, even as total coronavirus deaths surpass Spain’s.)
Brazil still has a long way to go before it can fully recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. More than half of the country’s entire workforce still hasn’t returned to work, around 7.8 million have lost their jobs because of the outbreak, parts of the country’s economy still aren’t operational and many common sense coronavirus measures still aren’t being implemented or recommended, such as the creation of a mass testing program and proposing social distancing and face mask guidelines.
Learn more about how other countries are reopening their economies at Pandemic.news.