Fox News reports Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for coronavirus, his son Eduardo told Fox News, contradicting earlier reports that the South American leader had tested positive.
Reports out of Brazil had initially indicated Bolsonaro had tested positive, and his son appeared to confirm this to Fox News earlier Friday, adding that further testing was being done to confirm the diagnosis and the second set of testing was expected later in the day.
However, in a subsequent appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” Eduardo denied his father had ever tested positive.
Host Sandra Smith asked Bolsonaro if he could confirm his father had first tested positive for the virus and what had happened in between then.
“I don’t have this information,” he replied. “The information I have is the results that just came up telling that he is negative for coronavirus. I never listened that it was positive in the first exam. This is something that I don’t know. But, uh, everything’s good now.”
Bolsonaro then told Smith, to his knowledge, this was his first test for the virus.
“I have to get more information about what is going on because together with Bolsonaro, there were other guys, other people in the same team that went to the US. So, we are also waiting for the exams about the other guys.He denied his father was showing any symptoms.“He is okay,” he confirmed.
The confusion surrounding the results came just days after Bolsonaro met with President Trump at the U.S. leader’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.
Bolsonaro had been tested after one of his deputies, who was also in attendance at the Florida resort, was diagnosed with COVID-19.
ABC reports Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for the new coronavirus, according to a post Friday on his official Facebook profile.
He traveled to Florida last weekend and dined with his U.S. counterpart, President Donald Trump, and a member of the delegation that accompanied him had tested positive after meeting Trump. Bolsonaro, 64, received the test on Thursday after his communications director was confirmed to have the virus.
There had been a swirl of confusing information earlier Friday, with a some media reporting Bolsonaro had received an initial positive test result. But the president’s official social media account later said tests were negative, and also posted a photo of Bolsonaro making an offensive arm gesture to reporters earlier this year.
“Don’t believe the fake news media!” he wrote in a subsequent post.
Bolsonaro’s Mar-a-Lago meeting also included Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Brazil’s foreign minister Ernesto Araujo and Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, who is a federal lawmaker, among others. Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani also went to Mar-a-Lago that evening.
This week, Bolsonaro told a group in Florida that he believed mainstream media was exaggerating the virus’ severity. He reversed course Thursday, wearing a face mask on a live transmission on Facebook. On a televised address later, he said the World Health Organization “responsibly” characterized the virus as a pandemic, and tried to dissuade supporters from turning out for mass demonstrations scheduled for March 15.
The rallies “demonstrate the maturity of our presidential democracy and are evident expressions of our liberty. They need, however, to be rethought in the face of these facts. Our health and that of our families must be preserved,” Bolsonaro said.
Bolsonaro’s health has been a focus since a 2018 stabbing on the campaign trail. Since the assassination attempt, he has already undergone four surgeries with a fifth one upcoming. In December, he was taken to the hospital after slipping in the bathroom of the presidential residence and banging his head.