Not long after his aide, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for coronavirus, local media in Brazil is now reporting that the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has also tested positive for the disease, per The Guardian. According to Eduardo Bolsonaro, a Brazilian congressman who recently traveled to the U.S. along with his father, the elder Bolsonaro is not showing any symptoms of the disease.
As reported by The Guardian, Spanish-language reports claimed Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, but they were decried as “fake news.” According to the publication, Brazil’s leading media sites did not confirm these reports, but the Brazilian official was alleged to have taken the COVID-19 test and results were reported to be coming Friday.
The news came as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would quarantine himself after his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, tested positive for the virus.
Bolsonaro had dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday night at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. On Wednesday, Bolsonaro appeared to minimize the dangers of the coronavirus. He claimed that “other flus kill more” and called the public reaction to the virus “oversized.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that the coronavirus can spread between people who are within approximately 6 feet of one another. The Guardian noted that, like Bolsonaro, Trump has minimized the dangers of the coronavirus.
“The president has downplayed the dangers posed by the virus, which he has repeatedly compared to the common flu; predicted it would be killed by warmer weather, which experts say is not certain; said a vaccine is imminent when experts say it is not; and continued to shake hands with supporters in public, against the advice of health experts,” the report reads.
Despite downplaying his fears, CNN’s Jim Acosta said Thursday that Trump is privately worried about contracting the disease. As reported by Raw Story, Acosta claimed the fears stem from a number of interactions the president has had with people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“The president told reporters today he’s not concerned, but a source close to the president tells me Mr. Trump is, indeed, concerned he may contract the coronavirus after interacting with people who have tested positive.”
The novel coronavirus is reportedly spread via coughs, sneezes, or physical contact, according to The Guardian. Although most who contract the disease recover, it can be fatal, particularly among those with underlying health conditions and the elderly. Per the CDC, there have been 29 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. as of Thursday.