RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met with President Donald Trump in the United States less than a week ago, tested negative for the coronavirus, said an article on his page on Friday Facebook.
Bolsonaro and a large Brazilian entourage, including ministers, met Trump and other senior U.S. officials last weekend in Mar-a-Lago. One of the party members, Bolsonaro's communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and is in quarantine.
"Negative tests for COVID-19, President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro," said the Facebook post, above an old image of Bolsonaro making an obscene local gesture in an apparent response to certain media reports. that a first test had been positive.
Bolsonaro's son Eduardo tweeted that his test also came back negative. Results for other members of the Brazilian delegation, including Bolsonaro Michelle's wife and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, have not yet been released. However, Bolsonaro’s lawyer Karina Kufa, who was part of the delegation, tested positive, according to the Brazilian daily O Globo.
"Life goes on normally, we have many challenges to overcome and many problems to solve," said Bolsonaro in front of his official residence.
He greeted the supporters but said it was better not to shake their hands.
The tests of Bolsonaro and many of his entourage changed the tone of the president in the face of a virus which he rejected on Tuesday as largely a "fantasy".
In a harsh speech to the nation Thursday evening, Bolsonaro asked his supporters to cancel the marches planned for the weekend in order to avoid spreading the disease.
Brazil has confirmed 98 cases of coronavirus, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday.
Fox News and a local Brazilian newspaper previously reported that Bolsonaro's initial test for the coronavirus was positive.
"He tested the negative endpoint," Bolsonaro's son Eduardo later told Fox News. He did not directly answer the question of whether a first test was positive.
Trump said Thursday that he was "not worried" about being in touch with Wajngarten.
The US president will not be tested, the White House said, despite his contacts with Wajngarten, next to whom he was pictured at a dinner in Mar-a-Lago.
Report by Débora Moreira in Rio de Janeiro, Gabriela Mello in Sao Paulo and Lisa Lambert in Washington, written by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Dan Grebler and Rosalba O & # 39; Brien