After months of denying the seriousness of the pandemic and brushing aside protective measures, Mr. Bolsonaro felt symptoms of Covid-19. Much more than 65,000 Brazilians have passed away of the virus.

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President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil claimed that the requirements of the task put the at threat for contracting the virus.Credit...Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO — president Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, who has railed versus social distancing measures and also repeatedly downplayed the hazard of the coronavirus as the epidemic in his country came to be the second-worst in the world, said Tuesday that he, too, had been infected.

Critics in ~ home and abroad have referred to as Mr. Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic cavalier and also reckless, allowing the virus come surge throughout Brazil, Latin America’s biggest nation. In ~ one point he dismissed it together “a measly cold,” and when asked in late April around the rising death toll, he replied: “So what? Sorry, however what perform you want me to do?”

As the caseload has actually skyrocketed, Mr. Bolsonaro has shunned masks, attended fixed rallies the his supporters, insisted the the virus poses no danger to healthy people, championed unproven remedies and also shuffled through health and wellness ministers who disagreed through him.


Brazil currently has more than 1.6 million confirmed situations and more than 65,000 deaths — an ext than any kind of country other than the united States.


Mr. Bolsonaro fell ill 2 days ~ he and also a handful of his ministers to visit a fourth of July luncheon at the residence the Todd Chapman, the American ambassador in Brazil. Mr. Bolsonaro and other attendees sat shoulder-to-shoulder, embracing v no masks. The ambassador and also his mam have due to the fact that tested negative for the virus, yet will continue to be at home, in quarantine, the embassy said.


Speaking to journalists external the presidential palace in Brasília shortly after noon top top Tuesday, Mr. Bolsonaro, claimed he had taken a check on Monday after enduring fatigue, muscle pain and also a fever.

He said he was emotion “very well,” i beg your pardon he credited to having taken hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug he has actually endorsed but which studies show does not ward off the virus. Covid-19 situations that become serious frequently take a turn for the worse around a week after symptom emerge.


Mr. Bolsonaro did not express contrition because that his managing of the pandemic, and doubled down on his assertion the the virus poses little risk to healthy and balanced people. He characterized the diagnosis together a predictable result of a leadership layout that requires him come be amongst the people.

“I am the president, I need to be ~ above the front lines that the fight,” he said, to compare the virus to “rain, i beg your pardon is walking to get to you.”

After taking concerns from journalists, Mr. Bolsonaro stepped earlier a couple of feet, removed the mask he had been wearing and also smiled.

“Thank you to every those that prayed for me and also rooted for me,” he said. “I’m fine, say thanks to God. Those who have actually criticized me, it is fine, lock can continue to criticize me.”


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Mr. Bolsonaro speaking v reporters on Tuesday, in an image taken from a press conference Mr. Bolsonaro streamed on society media.

Even as several of Mr. Bolsonaro’s aides have tested confident for the virus in recent months, the chairman has regularly eschewed precautions, boasting of exactly how his strong background would safeguard him and encouraging his supporters to flout lockdown measures implemented by city and also state officials.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson the Britain likewise rebuffed society distancing advice and also resisted lockdown measures, though he was never ever as dismissive together Mr. Bolsonaro. But after he ended up being seriously ill v Covid and spent several days in a hospital, he appeared to take it the danger more seriously, and also made a suggest of praising overburdened health care workers.


Mr. Bolsonaro’s management of the virus has deeply divided his country, with many opponents to express their rage at his heedless strategy by banging pots and pans in ~ their home windows in the evenings. Together Brazilians awaited the results of the president’s latest coronavirus test, messages post on society media illustrated how politics polarized the country had become.

Two trending hashtags top top Twitter Tuesday morning were #ForçaBolsonaro and also #ForçaCorona — the first sending the president strength and also the other properly expressing hope that the chairman would loss ill.


When she heard the news, job Medeiros, a 31-year-old neighborhood activist in Santa Cruz, a working-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, said she was immediately worried around how Bolsonaro supporters there would obtain it. Hers is just one of the areas with the greatest contingent of Bolsonaro voters in the city.

“My problem is that he will usage this to say, ‘See, i’m fine, if you record this you will certainly survive,’” she said. “Everything that happens come him has actually real consequences in how human being behave here. This is yes, really serious.”

Mr. Bolsonaro’s diagnosis is the latest challenge for a federal government that has actually been rocked in recent months by abrupt room departures and also a series of legislative and criminal investigations targeting the president and also his relatives.

As the country’s coronavirus caseload ballooned, Mr. Bolsonaro fired his an initial health minister in April over disagreements around the an answer to the virus, and drove his 2nd one to quit less than a month right into the job.


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Gravediggers and also mourners at a burial. Brazil now has more than 1.6 million confirmed instances and much more than 65,000 deaths — more than any kind of country other than the unified States.Credit...Victor Moriyama for The brand-new York Times

Since mid-May, one active-duty military general v no endure in health care has top the ministry, which has actually been faulted for failing to mountain a durable testing and contact tracing strategy.

As the health crisis worsened, Mr. Bolsonaro sparred with governors and mayors who enforced loosely-enforced lockdowns and also quarantines. Explain that regional officials were presenting an above grim photo of the pandemic, Mr. Bolsonaro in June referred to as on pendant to break into hospitals and also film what castle saw.

The president’s condition will do small to alter Brazil’s approach unless the experiences serious complications, politicians and also public experts predicted. The country is now in the procedure of reopening, through Brazilians packing bars, beaches and public spaces.

A mild case could leave Mr. Bolsonaro and also his supporters emotion vindicated, and also accelerate the reopening of businesses in Brazil that started in recent weeks, once bars and also gyms started welcoming patrons again.

“I don’t think we’ll watch any far-ranging changes,” senator Alessandro Vieira, an the contrary lawmaker. “Their denial is absolute, a bizarre thing.”

Supporters the the chairman praised him for disclosing his condition promptly and predicted he would certainly recover conveniently by acquisition the anti-malaria drug.


“I’m praying for his recovery,” Sóstenes Cavalcante, a congressman from Rio de Janeiro wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations come the president for being transparent v the Brazilian people. We are all at hazard of contracting the virus and also our opinion on society DISTANCING will not change at all.”

If the chairman is among the bulk of Covid-19 patient who do not end up being gravely ill, he will certainly be widely seen as living evidence of the merits the hydroxychloroquine, said Denise Garrett, a Brazilian-American epidemiologist. In spite of the absence of evidence that the drug helps, and its perhaps dangerous side effects, numerous Brazilians think in the drug, claimed Dr. Garrett, who formerly worked in ~ the Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention.


Fernando Haddad, the leftist politician Mr. Bolsonaro defeated in the 2018 presidential race, faulted the president’s dealing with of the crisis for the disease’s spread out in Brazil.

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“I remorse that an ext than 1.6 million world have been infected and the fact that we’ve had actually the world worst response,” he wrote on Twitter. “I expect they every recover, consisting of Mr. Bolsonaro. To loved ones of those who have left us as result of the government’s neglect, my sincere condolences.”

The president claimed on Tuesday the his disease did not alter his view that Brazilians needed to proceed working. A bigger risk than the virus, he said, was fail to acquire workers ago on the project in an economy that is supposed to contract by as much as 10 percent this year.