Brazil’s Bolsonaro Hospitalized After 10 Straight Days of Hiccups

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech during the appointment ceremony of the new heads of public banks, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on January 7, 2019. Evaristo Sa | AFP | Getty Images
Evaristo Sa | AFP | Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was diagnosed with a “partial intestinal obstruction” on Wednesday after he was admitted to a hospital following ten straight days of hiccups, the Brazilian newspaper O Tempo reported.

“After examinations carried out at the HFA [Hospital of the Armed Forces], in Brasília, Dr. [Antonio Luiz de Vasconcellos] Macedo, the physician responsible for surgeries on the President of the Republic [Bolsonaro]’s abdomen, resulting from the knife attack in 2018, found an intestinal obstruction,” a statement issued by Brazil’s presidential office on July 14 read. Bolsonaro’s doctor decided to transfer the president to a hospital in São Paulo to “undergo additional tests to define the need, or not, of an emergency surgery.”

Bolsonaro has suffered from a series of intestinal health complications in recent years stemming from a nearly fatal knife attack in 2018. A former official member of Brazil’s far-left Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) stabbed Bolsonaro in his abdomen in September 2018 while he campaigned for the Brazilian presidency at an outdoor rally in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. The assassination attempt was captured on camera.

“Adelio Bispo de Oliveira pierced Mr Bolsonaro’s intestine, putting his life in danger, when he stabbed the leader with a knife in the streets of Juiz de Fora, north of Rio de Janeiro,” Britain’s Independent newspaper recalled on Wednesday.

Oliveira was acquitted of charges related to his stabbing of Bolsonaro in 2019 “on the grounds that he was mentally ill,” according to the Independent. Bolsonaro “was placed in intensive care and lost 40 per cent of his blood [in the stabbing] but went on to win the presidential election.”

Doctors at the São Paulo hospital currently treating Bolsonaro “ruled out an emergency surgery” for the president late Wednesday night, saying he would “initially receive a conservative clinical treatment,” according to Bloomberg.

“After clinical, laboratory and imaging evaluations performed, the President will initially remain hospitalized under conservative clinical treatment,” Bolsonaro’s São Paulo medical team said in a statement issued July 15.

Bolsonaro, 66, tweeted a thumbs-up emoji accompanied by an emoji of the Brazilian national flag at about 1:30 p.m. local time on July 15 from his official Twitter account, appearing to indicate that he was “progressing well,” in his treatment, as reported by Bloomberg.

The president earlier tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital bed on July 14:

Bolsonaro issued a more robust text statement via Twitter about the state of his health on July 14. The president reiterated that his attacker in 2018 was a former member of the far-left Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) and tied it to the socialist but more mainstream Workers’ Party (PT), according to O Tempo.

“Another challenge, a consequence of the assassination attempt promoted by a former member of the PSOL, left arm of the PT, to prevent the victory of millions of Brazilians who wanted changes for Brazil. A cruel attack not only against me, but against our democracy, ” Bolsonaro wrote.

“I ask everyone who is reading this message to never give up on our colors, our values! We have riches and a wonderful people that no country in the world has. With honesty, honor, and with God in your heart, it is possible to change the reality of our Brazil. So I will continue!” the populist leader vowed.

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