Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is infected with COVID-19, on Wednesday defended his government’s handling of the pandemic and touted his use of a controversial drug.
Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself eating breakfast on Facebook along with a message that said his government provided payouts to laborers, thereby saving jobs and lives without spreading panic.
“No country in the world did it like Brazil,” Bolsonaro said.
“For those who root against hydroxychloroquine, but don’t present alternatives, I regret to inform you that I’m very well with its use and, with God’s grace, I will live for a long time still.”
Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus.
The president told reporters he underwent a lung X-ray on Monday after experiencing fever, muscle aches and malaise.
As of Tuesday, his fever had subsided, he said, and he attributed the improvement to hydroxychloroquine.
He stepped back from the journalists and removed his mask at one point to show that he looked well.
“I’m, well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” Bolsonaro said.
Later Tuesday, he posted a video to Facebook of him taking his third dose of hydroxychloroquine, which has also been promoted by President Donald Trump.
Brazil, with a population of more than 210 million, has seen 65,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and 1.5 million infections.
Other world leaders who have had cases of COVID-19 include British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.
Brazilian cities and states last month began lifting restrictions as deaths declined along with the caseload in intensive care units.
Bolsonaro supporter Silas Ribeiro said on the streets of Rio that the president is correct in saying the dangers of the virus have been exaggerated.
“Our president is a popular man. He is showing that he isn’t afraid to die,” according to Ribeiro, 59. “He is going to have health and get through this sickness.”
Speaking near recently reopened shops in Rio, Wesley Morielo said he hopes Bolsonaro’s sickness prompts him to reassess his stance.
“I think everything he said before, of not giving importance to COVID-19, came back against him,″ said Morielo, a 24-year-old student.
Bolsonaro said he canceled a trip this week to Brazil’s northeast region and will continue working remotely and receive visitors when he needs to sign a document.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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