Publish: 31 Jul 2020, 03:09 pm
Brazil's first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, tested positive for the latest coronavirus on Thursday, the government announced after her husband spent two weeks in isolation with her.
The announcement came five days after President Jair Bolsonaro said that he was over his illness and had resumed his daily job schedule.
Michelle Bolsonaro, 38, "is in good health and will obey all existing procedures," said the President's office.
Bolsonaro, 65, was blamed for treating the pandemic when Brazil emerged as the nation with the second-highest number of diseases and fatalities in the world , behind the United States: more than 2.5 million and 91,000.
The far-right president, who likened the epidemic to a "little flu," battled to stop state and local home-stay efforts to control it, claiming that the economic effects may be greater than the illness itself.
Instead, he used the medication hydroxychloroquine as a remedy and used it himself while he became sick, following several reports showing that it has little effect against COVID-19.
He again touted the medication Thursday, but did not say whether his wife was taking it.
“I would like to first thank God, and second the medication I was given, hydroxychloroquine,” he said in his weekly Facebook live address.
“It worked for me.”
He also revealed he was again feeling poorly and was taking antibiotics for an undisclosed illness.
“I just took a blood test, I was feeling a little weak yesterday. They found a bit of an infection,” he said.
“After 20 days sitting at home, you come down with other problems. I guess I got moldy lungs.”
Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro’s leftist nemesis, for his part said he suspected the president faked his coronavirus diagnosis to push hydroxychloroquine as a cure.
“I think Bolsonaro invented his infection so he could do propaganda for this treatment,” the former president (2003-2010) told a video news conference.
After Bolsonaro came down with a fever and tested positive for coronavirus on July 7th, he spent three weeks in isolation in the presidential palace, attending meetings remotely.
In his first public appearance following his sickness, he addressed a crowd of fans in the northeastern state of Piaui on Thursday, removing his face mask with heavy cheers.
Five of Bolsonaro’s ministers have also tested positive for the virus. The latest came Thursday: Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes.