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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19 — and he's taking hydroxychloroquine for treatment


Previously downplayed the seriousness and risks associated with COVID-19

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Tuesday that he has tested positive for coronavirus after falling ill over the weekend.

The Brazilian president has downplayed the seriousness and risks associated with COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic and has encouraged the country to get back to work in order to keep the economy afloat.

What are the details?

Bolsonaro, 65, reportedly tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. He said he began feeling unwell on Sunday.

Sky News reported that the Brazilian president is taking a combination of hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin for treatment.

The FDA pulled its emergency use authorization from hydroxychloroquine in June, citing its ineffectiveness as a treatment and the purported existence of potentially dangerous side effects. The FDA issued the guidance despite President Donald Trump saying he was taking it as a preventative measure against the disease. A July study, however, found that the drug lowered the death rate for COVID-19 patients.

Bolsonaro said that he's feeling just fine despite the concerning diagnosis.

"I'm well, normal," a masked Bolsonaro told reporters on Tuesday. "I even want to take a walk around here, but I can't due to medical recommendations."

He added, "There's no reason for fear. That's life. Life goes on. I thank God for my life and the role I've been given to decide the future of this great nation that is called Brazil."

According to the Guardian, Bolsonaro removed his mask during the Tuesday briefing with reporters and, stepping back, grinned.

"Just look at my face. I'm well, fine, thank God. … Thanks to all those who have been praying for me … and to those who criticize me, no problem, carry on criticizing as much as you like," he said, according to the outlet.

The Guardian also added that Bolsonaro had an X-ray of his lungs on Monday and said that his fever had subsided by Tuesday.

What else?

Bolsonaro previously tested negative for COVID-19 during three examinations conducted between March 12 and March 17 after several members of his entourage tested positive.

He had just returned to Brazil following a meeting with President Donald Trump in Florida.

CNN reported that Bolsonaro attended a July 4 celebration at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman.

"Images from the gathering show Bolsonaro not wearing a mask or observing social distancing," CNN noted on Tuesday. "In one picture, he stands next to several US and Brazilian officials, including Chapman, none of whom was wearing a face covering."

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