Brazil’s Communications Minister tests positive for Covid-19

minister fabio faria
Communications Minister Fábio Faria. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

Fábio Faria, Brazil’s Communications Minister, announced on Twitter that he has contracted the coronavirus. He mentioned having a fever and headache — but says he is “practically asymptomatic” as of now, and will continue to work remotely. He is the 11th Brazilian cabinet member to test positive for Covid-19.

On Twitter, he suggested that he may have caught the virus “at a dinner party after which many participants became ill.” He was talking about last week’s meeting between House Speaker Rodrigo Maia and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, in which the two tried to bury the hatchet over past disagreements and work together for economic reforms.

Like many of President Bolsonaro’s underlings, Mr. Faria said he would treat himself with hydroxychloroquine — an antimalarial drug with no proven effect against Covid-19, but touted by the president as a “possible cure.”

A congressman, Mr. Faria joined the administration in June after President Jair Bolsonaro promoted a cabinet reshuffle — re-creating the Communications Ministry. In just a few months, however, he has become one of the president’s most influential advisors, helping reshape Mr. Bolsonaro’s typically confrontational demeanor. 

Since Mr. Faria took office, the president has abandoned his constant attacks against Congress and the Supreme Court and has instead tried to build bridges with the other branches of government. That shift has been pivotal in the government’s efforts to diffuse investigations against the First Family — especially the involvement of the president’s eldest son with money-laundering schemes, and his two other political sons’ involvement with illegal fake news-spreading networks.

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