Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, one of a handful of world leaders who has spent months downplaying the coronavirus pandemic and flouting social distancing and health guidelines, has tested positive for the disease.
The 65-year-old far-right leader told reporters he had begun feeling ill on Sunday but was in good health despite running a fever. He added that an examination had shown his lungs were “clean”.
Bolsonaro has previously dismissed coronavirus as a “little flu”, even as he oversaw a botched government response to the disease which has killed more than 65,000 Brazilians.
It is the second highest death toll in the world behind the US and has forced the digging of mass graves in parts of the country.
Last month he said: “We are sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny.”
The country has more than 1.6 million confirmed cases, overwhelming the country’s healthcare system and pushing some hospitals to the point of collapse.
Despite this he has pushed ahead with the easing of the country’s lockdown and, like Donald Trump, continued to step out in public without any major precautions such as wearing a face covering.
He has even ventured into crowds to shake hands with the public.
Bolsonaro was tested at least three times for the virus in March after meeting with US President Donald Trump, and all those tests came back negative.
Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with US Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations, Reuters reports.
Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.
The US embassy in...