First Lady of Brazil has Covid-19


The First Lady of Brazil tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday after her husband spent 2 weeks in quarantine with the virus. The announcement comes just 5 days after President Jair Bolsonaro said he was over his illness and had resumed his normal work routine. His office says 38 year old Michelle Bolsonaro “is in good health and will follow all established protocols.”

The 65 year old president has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the pandemic, as Brazil has risen to become the country with the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the world, more than 2.5 million and 91,000, respectively. Only the US has more, with 4.6 million and 155,000.

The arch-conservative president, who compared the virus to a “little flu”, has fought against state and local stay-at-home measures to contain it, saying the economic fallout could be worse than the disease itself.

He is instead pushing the drug hydroxychloroquine, and took it himself while he was infected, despite numerous studies finding it has no benefit against the virus. He again touted the medication yesterday but didn’t say whether his wife was taking it. In his weekly Facebook live address, he announced:

“I would like to first thank God, and second the medication I was given, hydroxychloroquine. It worked for me.”

He also said 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. After 20 days sitting at home, you come down with other problems. I guess I got mouldy lungs.”

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former president and Bolsonaro’s leftist nemesis, says he suspects the president faked his coronavirus diagnosis in order to push hydroxychloroquine, telling a news conference:

“I think Bolsonaro invented his infection so he could do propaganda for this treatment.”

In his first public event since his illness, Bolsonaro yesterday greeted a crowd of supporters in the northeastern state of Piaui, removing his face mask to loud cheers.

5 of Bolsonaro’s ministers have tested positive for the virus.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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