Chief of Staff joins list of Bolsonaro cabinet members with Covid-19

Chief of Staff joins list of Bolsonaro cabinet members with Covid-19
Walter Braga Netto, Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr./ABr

Chief of Staff Walter Braga Netto has tested positive for Covid-19, making him the seventh member of Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet to contract the coronavirus.

Mr. Braga Netto was expected to take part in a meeting today with President Bolsonaro, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, and General Secretary Jorge Oliveira, which he missed, before his department’s press secretary later announced his positive test.

The Chief of Staff, aged 63, is reportedly asymptomatic and feeling well, but his age puts him in the high-risk bracket among Covid-19 patients, which demands close monitoring of his health status. Mr. Braga Netto will work remotely until further tests are made.

Mr. Braga Netto now joins fellow cabinet members Comptroller General Wagner Rosário; Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes; Education Minister Milton Ribeiro; Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni; Institutional Security Officer Augusto Heleno and Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque, in contracting Covid-19 – an alarmingly high figure among Mr. Bolsonaro’s inner circle of advisors.

President Bolsonaro himself announced on July 7 he had tested positive for Covid-19. He underwent a 20-day quarantine period following the results, prior to announcing on July 25 that he was cured of Covid-19.

First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro also tested positive for Covid-19 last week, adding to the tally of prominent figures close to the president who contracted the coronavirus.

Support this coverage →Support this coverage →