Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has announced that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
The 65-year-old’s mindless ignorance and dismissal of the pandemic and social distancing, even as Brazil became the second-worst hit country after the United States, has drawn worldwide contempt.
The South American nation has more than 65,000 deaths and 1.6 million confirmed cases. In March, as Covid-19 claimed its first victims the far-right populist bragged that, if infected, he would quickly shake off the illness thanks to his “athlete’s background”.
Bolsonaro has ever since continued to attend social events and political rallies, often without a face mask. Bolsonaro’s diagnosis comes just three days after lunch at the home of the US ambassador Todd Chapman.
Local media reports said the country’s leader was tested after developing symptoms, including a 38°c. temperature.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the risks of Covid1-9, instead urging Brazilians to get back to work to avoid a devastating economic crash.
The response of the Brazilian administration to coronavirus has drawn both domestic and international anger and dismay, with many directly blaming him for the high death toll.
Brazil is without a health minister after two were forced from their jobs in less than a month after clashing with Bolsonaro over the pandemic.