President Jair Bolsonaro announced early on Saturday that his most recent Covid-19 test came back negative (after testing positive on July 7 and 21). On Twitter, the president posted a picture clutching a box of hydroxychloroquine — an antimalarial drug with no proven efficacy against the coronavirus. Mr. Bolsonaro has touted it as a “possible cure.”
The Brazilian president first announced he had caught the coronavirus on July 7 and has been in isolation since. Ironically, Mr. Bolsonaro has arguably been the staunchest opponent of isolation measures for the Brazilian population and has frequently referred to the virus as “only a little flu.”
Mr. Bolsonaro has used his diagnosis to reinforce his talking points, repeatedly praising the possible benefits of hydroxychloroquine in treating the coronavirus. He claims the drug has helped him defeat with the disease.
Last weekend, he met with supporters in front of his official residence hoisting a box of the medication aloft like a trophy — while the crowd chanted: “chloroquine, chloroquine.” A few days later, he took a stroll to the palace’s garden, where photographers captured him showing a bottle of the drug to a rhea (an emu-like bird).
While the president is busy promoting unproven cures, Brazil has topped the mark of 85,000 deaths due to the novel coronavirus, along with 2.35 million infections.
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