Just four days after he attended an event with a Brazilian official who has since tested positive for coronavirus, Miami, Florida, Mayor Francis X. Suarez revealed that he has also contracted the highly contagious virus, according to a Miami Herald report. One day before meeting Suarez, the Brazilian official — presidential Communications Secretary Fabio Wajngarten — was photographed with President Donald Trump at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham acknowledged that Wajngarten attended events with both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence but said that both men had “almost no interactions” with the high-ranking aide to Brazil’s president. As a result, neither Trump nor Pence would be tested for the presence of coronavirus, Grisham said, according to a report by The Guardian.
On Thursday, when Suarez — a 42-year-old Republican — learned that Wajngarten had received a positive test for coronavirus, he immediately went into self-isolation. On Friday, the mayor acknowledged that he, too, had contracted the virus.
“It is confirmed that I have the coronavirus,” Suarez told The Herald in a Friday interview. “I did test positive for it.”
Another local mayor, Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County, was also at the event with Wajngarten, but told The Herald that he has received a negative test for COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by coronavirus.
In the below Instagram photo, posted by Wajngarten on Sunday, the Brazilian communications secretary stands at the far right, wearing a brown cap emblazoned with the slogan “Make Brazil Great Again.” Trump stands directly next to Wajngarten, holding a brown cap.
On Friday, media reports said that Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has also tested positive for coronavirus. Bolsonaro met and dined with Trump at Mar-a-Lago last weekend and, like Trump himself, has sought to downplay the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, calling the public reaction to the pandemic “oversized.”
Amid the reports he had contracted the virus, Bolsonaro issued a statement on his Facebook page denying that he had the disease, claiming that he tested negative for COVID-19, according to a report by The Independent newspaper.
Though Suarez went into self-isolation after learning of Wajngarten’s positive test, Trump had a different reaction when informed Thursday of the Brazilian official’s status.
“I’m not concerned,” Trump told reporters, as quoted by The Independent. Trump so far has not been tested for coronavirus, according to the White House.
But on Friday, according to BBC correspondent Nick Bryant, reporting via Twitter, Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has also tested positive for coronavirus — one week after meeting with Trump’s daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, as well as Trump administration Attorney General William Barr, in Washington.