- Title: "Panic also kills". Bolsonaro takes off mask after positive Covid diagnosis
- Date: 7th July 2020
- Summary: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (FILE - MAY 22, 2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) VARIOUS OF AERIAL VIEW OF CEMETERY SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (FILE - MAY 13, 2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) FUNERAL OF COVID-19 VICTIM, RELATIVE CRYING COFFIN BEING CARRIED OUT OF VEHICLE VARIOUS OF WORKERS FILLING GRAVES
- Embargoed: 21st July 2020 19:34
- Keywords: Brazil COVID-10 test President Jair Bolsonaro coronavirus health positive
- Location: BRASILIA, SAO PAULO, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- City: BRASILIA, SAO PAULO, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA004CLTAU6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday (July 7) he tested positive for the novel coronavirus after months of playing down the severity of the virus and defying medical experts, even as the pandemic killed more than 65,000 people in his country.
The right-wing populist told a group of television reporters that he had developed symptoms at the weekend.
Bolsonaro said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19.
Bolsonaro has emulated his political role model Donald Trump in voicing skepticism about the virulence of the virus, although the U.S. president has moderated his tone. Bolsonaro tested negative in March for the coronavirus after several aides were diagnosed following a visit to Trump's Mar-a-Lago, Florida, resort.
The positive test on Tuesday looks set to spark a frantic period of contact tracing and tests for those who met Bolsonaro in recent days, including Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, lender Banco Bradesco's Chairman Luiz Carlos Trabuco and planemaker Embraer's CEO Francisco Gomes Neto.
Over the weekend, Bolsonaro was also in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations. Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.
Bolsonaro has drawn criticism from public health experts for fighting state and city efforts to impose social distancing, arguing that the economic damage of those orders is worse than the disease itself.
Brazil has the world's second-largest outbreak behind the United States, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases.
(Production: Leandra Camera, Sergio Queiroz, Liamar Ramos)
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