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Brazil President Who Downplayed Coronavirus Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the fatal coronavirus, after continuously downplaying the seriousness of the virus.

The president announced the news himself while talking to CNN Brazil on Tuesday. “Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later. It was positive for me,” he said, referring to the Covid-19 test he took on Monday.

Bolsonaro said that on Sunday, he wasn’t feeling very well and later it got worse when he started feeling tired and some muscle pain. “I also had a 38-degree [Celsius] fever. Given those symptoms, my doctor said there was suspicion of Covid-19. Then I went to hospital to receive a lung scan.”

The president has long maintained that lockdowns will hurt the country more than the virus itself. “Our life has to go on. Jobs should be maintained,” he said during a March 24 speech broadcast on national television and radio. He held onto that position as Brazil’s outbreak dramatically worsened, criticizing governors and mayors for introducing stringent lockdown measures in an attempt to curb cases.

During a Facebook Live session last month, Bolsonaro also implied that local politicians might be inflating the number of deaths from coronavirus in order to make the federal government response look bad. “No one lost their life, in most cases, due to the lack of ICU beds or ventilators,” Bolsonaro said, calling on citizens to enter hospitals to check “if the beds are occupied or not.”

The Brazilian coronavirus death toll has risen to 65,000. According to figures released by the country’s health ministry on Monday. To date, 1,623,284 cases have been confirmed, while some local experts say the real number of people infected could be 12 to 16 times higher.

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