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Brazil's Bolsonaro catches coronavirus, shrugs off health risks


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Brazil's Bolsonaro catches coronavirus, shrugs off health risks

By Ana Mano and Lisandra Paraguassu

 

2020-07-07T154530Z_1_LYNXMPEG661B2_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRAZIL-BOLSONARO.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his protective face mask at a press statement during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil, March 20, 2020. Picture taken March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

 

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus after months minimizing the severity of the pandemic and defying medical experts, even as the virus killed more than 65,000 people in his country.

 

The right-wing populist gave the news to reporters at his official residence standing just inches away from him, adding to criticism of his cavalier approach to the outbreak in Brazil, the world's worst outside the United States.

 

Even as he announced his infection, the 65-year-old former army captain dismissed the dangers of the virus and credited unproven treatments for his mild symptoms, echoing his political role model U.S. President Donald Trump.

 

"If it weren't for the test, I wouldn't know the result. And it turned out positive," he told the television cameras, adding he had started to feel sick on Sunday and grown worse on Monday, with a fever, muscle pains and exhaustion.

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, after months of playing down the severity of the virus which he has called a "little flu." This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

 

The president said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19 that has been touted by Trump and some of his supporters and pro-government factions in Brazil as a potential cure.

 

Finishing the interview with three TV channels, Bolsonaro stepped back and removed his mask to reveal a smile, adding: "You can see from my face that I'm well and I'm calm."

 

Bolsonaro, like Trump, has blasted experts at the World Health Organization and voiced skepticism about the virulence of the virus, although the U.S. president has moderated his tone.

 

The Brazilian leader repeated his claim on Tuesday that the risks of COVID-19 were exaggerated and most Brazilians did not need to worry: "Be assured that for you the chance of something more serious is close to zero."

 

With more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil, Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis has drawn criticism from public health experts as he fought state and city efforts to impose social distancing, arguing that the economic damage would be worse than the disease itself.

 

He has fired two health ministers during the pandemic, both trained doctors, and replaced them with an active-duty army general on an interim basis.

 

Asked about Bolsonaro's health, a White House spokeswoman said "we wish him well and a speedy recovery."

 

Brazilian financial markets retreated after the news on Tuesday, with Brazil's currency swinging into negative territory and its main stock index falling as much as 1.7%.

 

VIP VISITS

Bolsonaro joins a short list of government leaders infected with the coronavirus, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, both of whom were treated in hospitals and needed extra oxygen.

 

His positive test looks set to spark a frantic period of contact tracing and tests for those who met Bolsonaro in recent days, including Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, lender Banco Bradesco <BBDC4.SA> Chairman Luiz Carlos Trabuco and planemaker Embraer <EMBR3.SA> CEO Francisco Gomes Neto.

 

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro was also in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations, and pictures showed neither wearing a mask. The U.S. embassy said Chapman had tested negative, but would remain in quarantine.

 

After his diagnosis, Bolsonaro said he would keep working via videoconference and "rarely receive one person or another to sign a document."

 

Pan American Health Organization director for communicable diseases Marcos Espinal wished Bolsonaro a "speedy recovery" but said his infection carried a message.

 

"The message is that this virus is unpredictable and does not respect race, class or people in power, despite security around any president," Espinal said. "For Brazil, the infection of its president should reinforce the need to strengthen implementations of social distancing recommendations and the use of masks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus."

 

Bolsonaro has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.

 

In March, he suggested in a televised national address that he was not concerned by the idea of contracting the coronavirus.

 

"With my history as an athlete, if I were infected by the virus, I would not have to worry. I would feel nothing or, at most, it would be a little flu or a little cold," he said.

 

(Reporting by Ana Mano in Sao Paulo and Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia; Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Brad Haynes; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-08
 
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No he doesn't -- fake news made up by democrats, or whatever they call them down there!

Anyway one day it will be gone, like a miracle.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Mama Noodle said:

Surely our liberal moral betters won’t mock another human being for catching COVID or wish him death or anything. 

Why not? I call it poetic justice. 🤓

 

But I am pleased to see that you realize that we liberals are your moral betters. There's hope for you, it would seem. 😎

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When I heard the news I googled his age.

Bolsonaro, born 21st March 1955.

Guess who was born the same date, just the year before?

Good or bad omen?

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11 minutes ago, CLS said:

When I heard the news I googled his age.

Bolsonaro, born 21st March 1955.

Guess who was born the same date, just the year before?

Good or bad omen?

tenor.gif

 

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30 minutes ago, CLS said:

When I heard the news I googled his age.

Bolsonaro, born 21st March 1955.

Guess who was born the same date, just the year before?

Good or bad omen?

Totally incomparable. Bolsonaro was asking for it, prayuth is protecting himself.

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4 minutes ago, stevenl said:

Totally incomparable. Bolsonaro was asking for it, prayuth is protecting himself.

The virus is not picky. 
Given the superstitiousness of most Thais, he must be shivering.

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The world is full of idiots even when ten of thousand of his people dying of the disease he plays the macho latino idiot.. nevermind that when in Victoria Australia alon 10 thousands people are refusing to be tested but they have no problem in blaming the government for their stupidity...

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1 hour ago, Mama Noodle said:

Surely our liberal moral betters won’t mock another human being for catching COVID or wish him death or anything. 

No, we base our decisions on data, fact and science. 
 

As such nominating him for a Darwin Award seems fair. 
 

That we might take mirth from peoples own stupidity is perfectly natural. 
 

To want his death would obviously be beyond the pale. We wouldn’t leave him hang out to dry like he did his people. 

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11 minutes ago, Mama Noodle said:

 

Thats a big ole whopper. 

 

How leading the world Covid deaths going for you there Mama? I thought it was going to magically be all done by Easter? 

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2 minutes ago, samran said:

How leading the world Covid deaths going for you there Mama? I thought it was going to magically be all done by Easter? 

 

Dunno amigo, everyone seems to be suffering and everyone has different levels of containment, testing, and reporting procedures because of the virus with wild results all over the board. 

 

Only crummy people throw covid deaths in others faces as a 'gotcha' but ignore statistics and per capita data. 

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1 minute ago, Mama Noodle said:

 

Dunno amigo, everyone seems to be suffering and everyone has different levels of containment, testing, and reporting procedures because of the virus with wild results all over the board. 

 

Only crummy people throw covid deaths in others faces as a 'gotcha' but ignore statistics and per capita data. 

Where did I say I don’t care? Oh that’s right, I didn’t. 
 

Well maybe in your alternative universe...

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1 minute ago, samran said:

Where did I say I don’t care? Oh that’s right, I didn’t. 

 

26 minutes ago, samran said:

That we might take mirth from peoples own stupidity is perfectly natural

 

Oh yeah, thats right, he totally cares like, a bunch, even though hes laughing, mocking, and amused by it 🤥

 

How liberal. 

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11 minutes ago, Mama Noodle said:

 

 

Oh yeah, thats right, he totally cares like, a bunch, even though hes laughing, mocking, and amused by it 🤥

 

How liberal. 

Oh mama - that’s a long bow you are drawing. 
 

Just having a giggle at other peoples self inflicted stupidity is one thing. Particularly when they should know better, like a president of a country with all the scientific advice at his fingertips.

 

No one is having a laugh at his, or your presidents victims. 


 

 

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1 hour ago, ezzra said:

The world is full of idiots even when ten of thousand of his people dying of the disease he plays the macho latino idiot.

I lived in Brazil for a bit.  The group that bears the brunt of most of the ethnic jokes down there are Portuguese, renowned for their stubbornness.  The word burro gets used a lot.  Combine that with machismo and ...

I can imagine the jokes they have regarding this guy.

 

 

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Hey I’ll bite I hope that incompetent fool suffers long and hard for betraying his people and dereliction of the responsibility of leadership 

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6 hours ago, Eric Loh said:

Is Bolsonaro related to Trump? Got to be some biological connection for stupid. 

Funny how this a$$clown actually makes Trump look like a genius! They should hang out more often if Trump wants to get re-elected.

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5 hours ago, Mama Noodle said:

 

Dunno amigo, everyone seems to be suffering and everyone has different levels of containment, testing, and reporting procedures because of the virus with wild results all over the board. 

 

Only crummy people throw covid deaths in others faces as a 'gotcha' but ignore statistics and per capita data. 

Please tell us about the per capita data. I am very interested in what you have to say about that.

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Who cares if he has it?  He appears fit, doesn't look obese and we don't know if he's diabetic or not, but if the stats of ifr of .04% are anything to go by, he'll be just fine.

"Among people <70 years old, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.26% with median of 0.05% (corrected, 0.00-0.23% with median of 0.04%)."

 

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v2

 

I'm still not quite sure why governments don't lock down the unhealthy and let this blow through the healthy population. What's the point of locking everyone down when we know the vast vast majority of only elderly and super unhealthy that need to be locked down and protected.

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