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Brazil’s Official Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 65,000 as Jair Bolsonaro Tests Positive

HeadlineJul 08, 2020

In Brazil, the nation’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has tested positive for the coronavirus after months of downplaying the severity of the pandemic. Bolsonaro recently developed a high fever and a cough. Brazil is the second-hardest-hit nation in the world after the United States, with more than 65,000 deaths and 1.6 million confirmed cases. Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, even though it has been proven ineffective against COVID-19. 

President Jair Bolsonaro: “Here, I’m taking my third dose of hydroxychloroquine. I’m feeling very well. I was feeling a little ill on Sunday. I was bad on Monday. Today, Tuesday, I feel better than on Saturday. So, in all certainty, it’s working.”

Brazil-based journalist Glenn Greenwald noted that Bolsonaro’s announcement comes as the country is on day 53 of having no health minister. The last two were fired or resigned within 30 days of each other for endorsing science. The grandmother of Brazil’s first lady Michelle Bolsonaro is also suffering from COVID-19. She was recently transferred to an ICU unit and is reportedly intubated.

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