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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Who Repeatedly Downplayed COVID-19 Threat, Tests Positive For Virus

The president of Brazil made the announcement on television Tuesday

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus.

He made the announcement himself on Brazilian television Tuesday, according to CNN and other outlets.

“Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later. It was positive for me,” he said, per CNN.

Bolsonaro repeatedly downplayed the virus’ threat, appearing in public without a face mask and social distancing. He has urged his country to get back to work and on Monday, according to CNN, assured supporters and residents his lungs were “clean” and he was being tested.

“I’ve done a lung screening, my lung is clean, OK? I went to do a Covid exam a while ago, but everything is okay,” he said at the time.

CNN, which maintains a presence in Brazil and was one of the networks to which Bolsonaro spoke about his positive result, reported Tuesday he’s been tested four times in four months. CNN also reported that Tuesday morning, the president’s office said he was being treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as he awaited his test results.

Observers reacted on Twitter.

“Perhaps ignoring a pandemic is not the best way to stay safe from it,” wrote Daily Beast editor at large Molly Jong-Fast.

“Shocking,” quipped The Young Turks’ Emma Vigeland.

More to come…