For over four months, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro toyed with the odds of catching the coronavirus. He denied the pandemic was as serious as experts had warned, promoting unproven treatments, organizing public gatherings, inciting insurrection against governors who enacted quarantines, and failing to name a permanent Health Minister for over 50 days. Now, after months of reckless behavior, Mr. Bolsonaro became one of the 1.6 million Brazilians to have been infected with the coronavirus.
True to form, the president used the announcement as a propaganda tool. He gathered reporters — who stood just centimeters away from him — and revealed live on television that his test results had come back positive. He then took his own diagnosis as an opportunity to double down on each one of his Covid-19 denialist messages until now.