According to the exam results submitted by the Solicitor General’s Office on Tuesday night, President Jair Bolsonaro did in fact test negative for the coronavirus on three separate occasions — March 12, March 17, and one more recent exam.
However, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation — Brazil’s flagship biological institution — made a cryptic statement to newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, saying “the material was not identified, it didn’t have the president’s name on it.” According to the press, Mr. Bolsonaro carried out the tests under the false names “Airton Guedes” and “Rafael Augusto Alves da Costa Ferraz.”
The soap opera of the president’s Covid-19 test results was the theme of our Explaining Brazil podcast this week. We spoke with Filipe Campante, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, about what is at stake in this case — even if the results are indeed negative. Also, we discussed the issues of having a Supreme Court taking such a prominent political role — a long-lasting trend in Brazil.