Politics

Brazilian president Bolsonaro, who dined with Trump, says he tested negative for coronavirus

Key Points
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met and dined with President Donald Trump at his Florida resort over the weekend, tested negative for the coronavirus, his official Facebook page announced.
  • That diagnosis came after Brazil revealed that Bolsonaro's press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who also attended the Mar-a-Lago gathering, tested positive for the fast-spreading disease.
  • Trump said Thursday he was "not concerned" about his exposure to Wajngarten, and the White House said there were no plans for the president or Vice President Mike Pence, who was also at Mar-a-Lago, to get tested.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro before attending a working dinner at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., March 7, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met and dined with President Donald Trump at his Florida resort over the weekend, tested negative for the new coronavirus, his official Facebook page announced Friday.

His son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, who has shared updates about the Brazilian leader's coronavirus testing, also said that the results came back negative.

"Result of Jair Bolsonaro @jairbolsonaro for coronavirus it was NEGATIVE," Eduardo Bolsonaro said, a translation of his tweet shows.

That diagnosis came a day after Brazil revealed that Bolsonaro's press secretary, who also attended the Mar-a-Lago gathering, tested positive for the fast-spreading disease.

Trump said Thursday that he was "not concerned" about his exposure to that official, Fabio Wajngarten, and the White House said there were no plans for the president or Vice President Mike Pence, who was also at Mar-a-Lago, to get tested. Trump put Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the coronavirus.

But Bolsonaro did receive testing despite not showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, according to a tweet from his son.

Earlier reports indicated that Bolsonaro had tested positive for the fast-spreading virus. Fox News initially reported that Bolsonaro had undergone multiple tests for the virus, the first of which came back positive. Other Brazilian outlets also reported that the first test showed Bolsonaro had contracted the coronavirus.

The president himself attacked the "fake news" on Twitter later Friday morning.

"DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE MEDIA FAKE NEWS!" a translation of Bolsonaro's tweet reads. "THEY ARE THEY WHO NEED YOU!"

The president's press office told CNBC in a statement that "the PR informed through social networks that the test was negative" for coronavirus. CNBC translated that statement from Portuguese.

Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in statements Thursday that they had been in proximity to Wajngarten over the weekend. Both of those lawmakers said that they would quarantine themselves as a precautionary measure.

On Saturday, Wajngarten shared a photo on his Instagram page of himself standing directly next to Trump and near Pence in an ornate room. The Brazilian press aide is wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with the phrase "Make Brazil Great Again," a riff on Trump's campaign slogan.

A photo showing a Brazilian government official (r) posing for a photo next to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-A-Lago has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus.

It was not clear when the photo was taken.

In a statement Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump and Pence "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."

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