by Oleg Burunov
In mid-March, Jair Bolsonaro claimed that he had tested negative for COVID-19, urging people not to believe “the fake news of media”, which earlier reported that his coronavirus test was positive.
Reuters has cited Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as saying on Thursday that he might have contracted COVID-19 and that he may undergo another test for the disease.
He added that he previously tested negative at least twice, fighting a court battle to halt the release of the hospital test results.
This followed a federal judge in Brasilia on Monday ordering Bolsonaro to comply with local rules to wear a face mask in public or face a daily fine worth $390.
The judge said that the Brazilian president “has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion”.
The ruling came after Bolsonaro was seen without a mask at public gatherings, including protests against the country’s Congress and Supreme Court.
The developments were preceded by a Brazilian Supreme Court judge ordering Bolsonaro’s government to resume publishing complete coronavirus statistics, earlier deleted from the covid.saude.gov.br website.
This came as Bolsonaro went on Twitter to claim that “the cumulative [COVID-19] data […] does not reflect the moment the country is in”, while adding that more measures were being taken to “improve the reporting of cases”.
In March, the Brazilian president, who is known for his opposition to coronavirus lockdowns and dubbing the COVID-19 “a bit of a cold”, asserted that he had tested negative for the disease.
He also called on people not to believe “the fake news of media”, which previously reported that Bolsonaro had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Brazil has become the world’s second-most affected country after the US, registering more than 50,000 fatalities from COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University.