Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for novel Coronavirus after months of downplaying the virus’ severity.
Bolsonaro said “I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendationS,”
He added “I thought I had it before, given my very dynamic activity. I’m president and on the combat lines. I like to be in the middle of the people.”
The 65-year-old populist Jair Bolsonaro said that he is taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment although hydroxychloroquine has not been proven effective against COVID-19.
Brazil is the sixth biggest nation in the world with the population of 210 million is one of the outbreak’s most lethal hot spots. More than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19, and over 1.5 million have been infected.
The president has often appeared in public to shake hands with supporters and mingle with crowds, at times without a mask. He has said that his history as an athlete would protect him from the virus.
He has also repeatedly said that there is no way to prevent 70% of the population falling ill with COVID-19 and that local authorities’ efforts to shut down economic activity would ultimately cause more hardship than allowing the virus to run its course.
Bolsonaro repeated those sentiments Tuesday, likening the virus to a rain that will fall on most people and saying that some, like older people, must take greater care.
Bolsonaro said “You can’t just talk about the consequences of the virus that you have to worry about. Life goes on. Brazil needs to produce. You need to get the economy in gear,″
-Davinder Panesar, NMTV News