Bolsonaro Updates Coronavirus Haters: ‘I Regret to Inform You I Am Very Well’

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters upon arrival at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on May 24, 2020, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. - Despite positive signs elsewhere, the disease continued its surge in large parts of South America, with the death toll in Brazil passing 22,000 and infections topping 347,000, …
EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted an update on his health after testing positive for the Chinese coronavirus on Tuesday, telling his opponents jokingly that he “regretted” to inform them that he is doing “very well.”

The Brazilian Communications Ministry announced on Tuesday that Bolsonaro had tested positive for the virus and was feeling “unwell.” The ministry added that he remains in “good health” and has not needed hospitalization.

Many of Bolsonaro’s opponents noted that he contracted the coronavirus after repeatedly playing down its severity, describing it as a “little flu” and urging people to carry on their lives as normal to reduce the devastating economic impact of quarantine measures. He has also repeatedly refused to wear a mask in public, leading to a federal judge ordering him to do so.

Widespread speculation about Bolsonaro’s health began on Sunday evening when he reportedly complained of exhaustion and showed various symptoms of the disease. On Monday, he went to have a coronavirus test and addressed his supporters afterward.

“I’ve come back from the hospital now, I’ve done a lung screening, my lung is clean, OK? I went to do a Covid [Chinese coronavirus] exam a while ago, but everything is okay,” he said. “You can’t get very close [to me], OK? Recommendation for everyone.”

Bolsonaro appeared to mean that a screening did not find any fluid in his lungs.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro insisted he was feeling “very well” while taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, which both he and President Donald Trump have touted as an effective treatment for the disease.

“To those who cheer against hydroxychloroquine, but do not present alternatives, I regret to inform you that I am very well with its use and, with the grace of God, I will live for a long time to come,” he wrote on Twitter, posting a photo appearing to enjoy a coffee or tea.

In the same Twitter thread, Bolsonaro also defended his government’s record of handling the pandemic in light of the high number of recorded cases. As of Wednesday, Brazil has recorded close to 1.7 million cases of the coronavirus and over 67,000 deaths.

“All the isolation measures adopted by governors and mayors have always aimed at delaying contagion while hospitals were preparing to receive respirators and ICU beds,” he wrote. “Our government served everyone with the necessary resources and means. Furthermore, we created means to preserve jobs and provided assistance with five installments of 600 reais.”

“No country in the world did it like Brazil,” he continued. “We saved lives and jobs without spreading panic, which also leads to depression and deaths. I always said that fighting the virus could not have a worse collateral effect than the virus itself.”

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