Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 earlier this month, said that everyone will probably contract coronavirus at some point, “so face up to it”.
“I knew I was going to catch it someday, as I think unfortunately nearly everyone here is going to catch it eventually,” the BBC quoted the President as saying to reporters during a visit to the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul on Friday.
“What are you afraid of? Face up to it,” he said.
“I regret the deaths. But people die every day, from lots of things. That’s life.”
Friday’s remarks came a day after Bolsonaro said that he was taking antibiotics for an infection that has left him weak following his coronavirus diagnosis.
Bolsonaro said he had “mould in my lungs”, without elaborating, after spending almost a month in quarantine at his presidential residence.
The President tested positive for coronavirus on July 7, but has since been given the all clear.
According to official information, Bolsonaro underwent four COVID-19 tests in 18 days and tested positive thrice.
His wife, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro and the country’s Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Marcos Pontes tested positive for the virus on Thursday, the BBC reported.
Two of the President’s close aides are also now quarantined at home after testing positive — Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni and Education Minister Milton Ribeiro.
Two other ministers, Bento Albuquerque, who is in charge of mines and energy, and Augusto Heleno, who heads the institutional security cabinet, tested positive in March, but quickly recovered.
Bolsonaro has previously compared COVID-19 to a “little flu” and complained about lockdown measures and their effect on the economy.
Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths at 2,662,485 and 92,475, respectively.