Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Tuesday that he has tested positive for Covid-19, after repeatedly downplaying the disease as “a little flu” and pushing to reopen Brazil’s economy as the pandemic has exploded in the South American nation.
Bolsonaro announced his positive test result on Brazilian television Tuesday, saying, “Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later.”
The Brazilian president had previously said on Monday that he had been tested for the disease, but that his lungs were “clean.”
Bolsonaro has previously had scares with coronavirus after top aides have tested positive for the virus, but claimed in March that if he got the disease, his “history as an athlete” meant he would suffer “at most a little flu.”
1,623,284: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil as of July 7, according to Johns Hopkins University data, making the country only second to the U.S. in terms of cases.