Bolsonaro Michelle

Michelle Bolsonaro, Brazil’s First Lady, Tests Positive For Coronavirus – NPR

Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive on Thursday — days after her husband, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said he had recovered from the disease. The pair are seen here at an event on Wednesday.

Alan Santos/Planalto Palace photograph

Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, according to the office of President Jair Bolsonaro, days after her husband said he had recovered from the disease.

“She is in a state of good health and will follow all established protocols,” the Planalto Palace, the president’s official residence, said in a brief notice to the media.

The first lady is being looked after by a presidential medical team, the Planalto Palace added.

Just 24 hours ago, Michelle Bolsonaro attended a public event in Brasilia with her husband, wearing a mask as she delivered remarks about a rights initiative for women in rural and indigenous communities.

Brazil is now reporting more than 2.5 million coronavirus cases — second only to the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. COVID-19 has killed more than 90,000 people in Brazil.

“The daily [death] count rose above 1,500 Wednesday — a spike officials blamed on delayed data,” NPR’s Philip Reeves reports from Rio de Janeiro. “There were also 69,000 new infections, a record.”

Despite those sobering numbers, the Bolsonaro government announced it is lifting its international air travel ban on foreign tourists, which had stood for four months. Visitors can stay for up to 90 days and they must have “medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay,” according to a bulletin posted Thursday by the International Air Transport Association.

Brazil’s president has been one of the world’s loudest skeptics about the coronavirus, saying the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is “exaggerated.” He also sharply criticized any local or state officials who imposed restrictions.

Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus early this month after weeks of consistently downplaying the threat. As he spoke with reporters about his diagnosis, he backed away from them and removed his face mask — an act that prompted a journalists group to file a lawsuit against him.

Days before he tested positive, Bolsonaro signed a national face mask mandate into law, requiring protective masks in both public and private spaces due to the pandemic.

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Bolsonaro Brazil's

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he’s tested negative for coronavirus | TheHill – The Hill

Brazil's Bolsonaro says he's tested negative for coronavirus

© SERGIO LIMA/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro indicated Saturday that he has tested negative for coronavirus after contracting the disease earlier this month.

On social media the leader posted a photo saying he tested negative followed by “BOM DIA A TODOS” or “GOOD MORNING EVERYONE” in Portuguese.

– RT-PCR para Sars-Cov 2: negativo.


Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 25, 2020

Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist with close ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSeattle police declare riot amid ongoing protests Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he’s tested negative for coronavirus Reagan Foundation asks Trump campaign, RNC to stop using former president’s name to raise money MORE, announced that he has tested positive for the virus on July 7.

The 65-year-old announced the same week that he was taking Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, that has been touted by Trump as a treatment for COVID-19, though the medical community has largely warned against it for this purpose. 

The FDA ruled in June that it would withdraw emergency use authorization for Hydroxychloroquine, because at the time that recent data showed no difference in patients with COVID-19 who took the drug and those who did not. 

Like President Trump, Bolsonaro has not shied away from public events since the start of the pandemic and has downplayed the impact of the disease. The U.S. and Brazil have the first and second highest number of infections in the world, respectively. 

As of Friday, Brazil has reported more than 2.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 85,000 deaths because of the virus. The total makes Brazil the country with the second-largest COVID-19 case count behind the U.S.

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Bolsonaro dismissed

Bolsonaro dismissed the coronavirus. His positive test highlights Brazil’s deadly outbreak. – NBC News

With a wry smile to cameras, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro slid down his face mask before making a statement Tuesday.

After downplaying the severity of the coronavirus for months, he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and just as quickly shrugged-off the illness and proclaimed he felt well.

The president is now a statistic: one of the 1.6 million Brazilians who have contracted the virus, which has swept through the world leaving death and destruction in its wake. So far, Brazil has recorded 66,000 coronavirus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

And on the same day Bolsonaro confirmed his diagnosis, Brazil reported another 45,000 cases — a sign its raging epidemic is not slowing down.

The 65-year-old president had previously said that his history as an athlete would protect him from the virus and that it would be nothing more than a “little flu.”

He has removed two health ministers since April, berated state governors and local mayors for strict lockdown measures and taken selfies with the public.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks with journalists while wearing a protective face mask in Brasilia.Adriano Machado / Reuters file

Reacting to the news, executive director of the World Health Organization, Michael Ryan, said Tuesday that when it comes to the virus “no one is special.”

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

“The virus does not know really who we are, whether we are a prince or pauper, we are equally vulnerable,” he told a press conference, live-streamed from Geneva.

But Bolsonaro says he is confident he will swiftly recover thanks to treatment with hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug also favored by Donald Trump — but has not been proven effective against COVID-19.

Later on Tuesday, Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist often compared to President Trump, posted a video on Facebook of him laughing at his desk and taking his third dose of hydroxychloroquine, followed by a thumbs-up.

“Today I’m a lot better, so certainly it’s working,” Bolsonaro said, downing the dose with a glass of water.

“We know today there are other remedies that can help fight the coronavirus. We know none of them have their efficacy scientifically proven, but I’m one more person for whom this is working. So, I trust hydroxychloroquine,” he added.

The lethal coronavirus is raging in Brazil, with cases and deaths mounting — only the U.S. has experienced a worse outbreak so far.

Brazil’s indigenous populations have been particularly hard-hit, with deaths related to the disease increasing by more than five-fold through May.

Bolsonaro supporter Silas Ribeiro said on the streets of Rio that the president was correct in stating the dangers of the virus had been exaggerated.

“Our president is a popular man. He is showing that he isn’t afraid to die,” Ribeiro, 59, told the Associated Press. “He is going to have health and get through this sickness.”

But not all Brazilians are convinced of the former army captain’s valiant display of strength.

Student Wesley Morielo said he hoped Bolsonaro’s sickness prompts him to reassess his stance on coronavirus.

“I think everything he said before, of not giving importance to COVID-19, came back against him,” Morielo also told the AP.

A woman walks past graffiti depicting Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro adjusting his protective face mask in Rio de Janeiro.Sergio Moraes / Reuters

Bolsonaro said he had canceled a trip this week to Brazil’s northeast region but will continue working via video-conference and receive rare visitors when he needs to sign a document.

Over the weekend, the Brazilian leader celebrated the Fourth of July with the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Todd C. Chapman, then shared photos on social media showing him in close quarters with the diplomat, several ministers and aides. None wore masks.

The U.S. Embassy said on Twitter on Tuesday that Ambassador Chapman was not showing any symptoms of coronavirus but would be tested as a precaution.

Adela SulimanAdela Suliman

Adela Suliman is a London-based writer and reporter for NBC News Digital.

Associated Press


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Bolsonaro Brazil's

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he expects top court to end probe into his conduct over police – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks with journalists as he arrives at Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil, May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro expects the Supreme Court to find no wrongdoing and end an investigation into potential political interference in the federal police, according to a statement from the presidential palace on Monday.

An allegation by former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, a popular anti-graft crusader, that Bolsonaro aimed to interfere in police investigations has become a political scandal adding to the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, the federal Supreme Court released a video recording of an April 22 ministerial meeting in which Bolsonaro said he wanted to change security officials, their bosses or even ministers to stop his family and friends from getting “screwed.”

Bolsonaro said in the statement on Monday that he expects the “matter to be treated with responsibility and serenity.”

Writing on Facebook after the release of the video, Bolsonaro said there was “no indication of interference in the federal police.” In a radio interview with Jovem Pan, he said he had been talking about his own personal security and not senior members of the federal police.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Grant McCool

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Bolsonaro Fights

Bolsonaro Fights for Survival, Turning to Empowered Military Elders – The New York Times

A flailing leader has given Brazil’s generals an opening to insert themselves onto the front lines of politics.

Credit…Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO — Jair Bolsonaro ascended to Brazil’s presidency with a sweeping set of promises, like cutting out the rot of corruption, firing up the economy and doing away with the country’s notorious pork-barrel politics.

What a difference 16 months make.

Battered by a torrent of investigations into him and his family, an economy in free-fall and criticism of his cavalier handling of one of the world’s fastest growing coronavirus epidemics, Mr. Bolsonaro is fighting for political survival.

Now, with calls for his impeachment intensifying, he is being shored up by a narrowing band of leaders who are gaining outsize power as his troubles multiply.

Mr. Bolsonaro has become increasingly reliant on a cadre of military elders, entrusting them with the most power they have had since the military dictatorship ended in the 1980s.

And despite his early vows to clean up politics, he has become highly dependent on career politicians, including several marred by corruption allegations, who are eager to extract favors from a floundering leader. That could give them control over billions of dollars in public spending as the country enters a severe recession.

The pandemic has left Mr. Bolsonaro especially vulnerable. Brazil is quickly becoming a global hot spot, and this week surpassed the number of deaths reported by China. Yet the president has continued to resist calls for stricter quarantines and displayed little empathy for the more than 6,300 Brazilians who have died, setting off widespread criticism that he has been reckless and callous.

“So what? Sorry, but what do you want me to do?” he said this week of the mounting death toll, before making a joke about his middle name. “My name is Messiah, but I can’t work miracles.”

His troubles extend well beyond the virus. Mr. Bolsonaro’s presidency had already been flailing for weeks — and then he set off an unexpected political crisis last week.

He fired the federal police chief, and the reaction was fierce. Justice Minister Sergio Moro, the most popular member of the cabinet, resigned in protest. In an extraordinary parting shot, Mr. Moro accused the president of seeking to obstruct justice by putting a subservient official at the helm of an agency investigating several of his allies, including one of Mr. Bolsonaro’s sons.

That led the Supreme Court to open an investigation into Mr. Bolsonaro’s actions and block his appointment of a new federal police chief. Mr. Bolsonaro reacted defiantly, saying he had not abandoned the “dream” of having a family friend at the helm of the police force, raising the prospect of an institutional clash.

Demands for the president’s resignation and impeachment are gaining traction in Congress, where a leaderless and disparate opposition lacks a clear plan to bring him down. Even so, lawmakers and the Supreme Court are leaving Mr. Bolsonaro with little room to maneuver.

“He’s delusional in thinking he’s unbound by the Constitution,” said Randolfe Rodrigues, a prominent opposition senator. “I hope he starts discovering that he’s subject to the rule of law.”

The president’s office declined interviews this week. But as Mr. Bolsonaro has become radioactive for much of the political establishment in the capital, Brasília, diplomats and political scientists have begun to game out how much upheaval the generals who serve in senior positions will tolerate.

Active and former military officials currently hold nine of the 22 cabinet positions, including three that operate out of the presidential palace. Those perches have given Brazil’s military broad authority over issues like fiscal policy, development in the Amazon and the response to the pandemic.

“I think this is the best government team we’ve had in the last 30 years, by far,” retired Gen. Paulo Chagas, who has run for office but is not in the government, said in an interview. “However, the vulnerability of the government is its own leader, who is perpetually giving ammunition to his adversaries.”

As chaos engulfs Mr. Bolsonaro’s presidency, speculation that his vice president, retired Gen. Hamilton Mourão, is readying to take over has been rife in memes and back door conversations. Mr. Mourão at times has appeared to relish the pandemonium.

Shortly after Mr. Bolsonaro fired his health minister on April 17 — after complaining about the minister’s strong endorsement of social distancing measures — the vice president smirked as he told journalists, “Everything is under control: We just don’t know whose.”

Amy Erica Smith, a political scientist at Iowa State University who specializes in Brazil, said the generals who have tied their lot to Mr. Bolsonaro must now be worried about their personal reputations and the military’s image as a guarantor of order.

“The crisis we’re entering raises the threat that the military might decide that civilian leadership isn’t effective and decide to take over,” she said. “It seems clear that the military continues to have this idea of itself as a tutelary force in politics.”

Political analysts say a conventional military takeover is unthinkable in today’s Brazil, given the strength of Congress, the courts, civil society and the press. But Ms. Smith said the generals could turn an embattled Mr. Bolsonaro into a figurehead leader or tacitly support efforts to impeach him, which would leave Mr. Mourão in control.

The sudden prospect of a new presidential ouster four years after the tumultuous impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff has scrambled politics in Brasília, where lawmakers have submitted at least 29 impeachment petitions against Mr. Bolsonaro.

Mr. Bolsonaro is the rare president without a political party, having broken ranks with the one that brought him to power last November. Despite having spent nearly three decades in Congress, he has not made an effort to build a governing coalition in Brazil’s multiparty legislature.

That has led a cluster of center and center-right parties informally known as the centrão to demand lucrative and influential government posts in exchange for shielding him from impeachment.

Roberto Jefferson, a former member of Congress from the centrão who admitted to playing a leading role in a kickbacks scheme in 2005, said Mr. Bolsonaro’s political survival now depends on cutting deals with power brokers in the centrão, several of whom have also been tainted by corruption allegations.

“Every party has its sinners,” Mr. Jefferson said in an interview. “Who’s a saint in that realm?”

The jobs that centrão leaders are angling for would give their parties discretion over billions of dollars.

The centrão’s emerging alliance with Mr. Bolsonaro would also give its members significant sway over an enormous public infrastructure spending plan announced by a military member of the government in an effort to generate jobs. The economy is expected to contract by between 5 percent and 9 percent this year.

Political analysts see those plans as anathema to Mr. Bolsonaro’s austerity goals and his pledge to break with the kind of back-room horse-trading that spawned staggering levels of corruption in the past.

Mr. Moro, a former federal judge who became the most visible figure of a national crackdown on corruption that began in 2014, says he no longer believes the government is committed to rooting out graft.

“I agreed to join the Bolsonaro government to strengthen the fight against corruption,” he said in a text message to The New York Times. “I gave up when I concluded I would not have the ability to make headway in that area.”

The president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and Mr. Moro’s departure has disappointed some of his wealthier and better-educated supporters. But a recent public opinion poll conducted by Datafolha, a leading Brazilian research company, showed 33 percent of respondents continued to support him, suggesting his overall approval rate has remained relatively steady.

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Mr. Bolsonaro has benefited from well-organized and nimble propaganda and disinformation campaigns that have bypassed the mainstream press by relying on social media platforms and text messaging apps.

“The political right in Brazil has the most sophisticated system to rely on supporters to spread misinformation to the public,” said Marco Ruediger, a researcher at Fundação Getulio Vargas University who studies political disinformation online.

But that strategic advantage has become a liability as the federal police and a congressional committee investigate the structure and workings of shadowy online communities that support the president. Among those under investigation are two of the president’s sons, Eduardo and Carlos Bolsonaro.

The president’s erratic handling of the coronavirus, which he has called a “measly cold,” has tested the resilience of his online supporters, Mr. Ruediger said.

But one base that appears to be steadfast is Evangelical Christians, who supported Mr. Bolsonaro staunchly during the campaign.

Mr. Bolsonaro in recent days has nodded to the issues that animate that constituency by reminding them of his opposition to abortion and by falsely claiming that the World Health Organization promotes homosexuality and encourages toddlers to masturbate.

“All the major leaders of Evangelical churches in Brazil, all of them continue supporting him in the same way,” Silas Malafaia, the leader of one of the country’s megachurches, said in an interview. “Bolsonaro will only lose our support if he ends up being personally embroiled in corruption.”

  • Updated April 11, 2020

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • When will this end?

      This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • How does coronavirus spread?

      It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

    • Is there a vaccine yet?

      No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.

    • What makes this outbreak so different?

      Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

    • What if somebody in my family gets sick?

      If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

    • Should I stock up on groceries?

      Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

    • Should I pull my money from the markets?

      That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.

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Bolsonaro family

Bolsonaro taps family friend as Brazil’s federal police chief – Al Jazeera English

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has named a family friend to head the federal police, days after the country’s justice minister quit and accused the president of meddling in law enforcement.

The controversy over the appointment of Alexandre Ramagem and allegations by outgoing Justice Minister Sergio Moro of improper interference in the police force triggered talk of impeachment and a criminal investigation approved by the Supreme Court, as the country grapples with the coronavirus epidemic, which has now killed 5,017 people in Brazil, hundreds more than in China.


The government’s official gazette confirmed the appointment of new federal police chief Ramagem, 48, who took charge of the president’s security after Bolsonaro was stabbed on the campaign trail in 2018. The selection comes amid investigations into alleged wrongdoing by the president’s sons.

Ramagem, who joined the federal police in 2005, has the fewest years of service of any officer tapped to lead the force. He has run the Brazilian Intelligence Agency since July.

On Friday, Justice Minister Sergio Moro alleged in a stunning televised address that Bolsonaro had repeatedly said he wanted a “personal contact” in the top police job “from whom he could get information, intelligence reports.”

Brazil’s Supreme Court on Monday gave the green light for the top public prosecutor to investigate the allegations against Bolsonaro.

Justice Celso de Mello gave the federal police 60 days to carry out the investigation requested by Brazil’s chief public prosecutor Augusto Aras.

Mello’s order effectively puts Bolsonaro’s new appointee, Ramagem, in charge of the investigation.

Based on the results of the police investigation, the public prosecutor will decide whether to press charges against the president. An indictment would have to be approved by the lower house, also known as the Chamber of Deputies. 

Political storm

The biggest political storm since Bolsonaro took office last year comes as the COVID-19 accelerates in Brazil. 

The Health Ministry reported that a record 474 people died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 5,017. Confirmed cases have risen at 5,000 a day in the last 48 hours, to 71,866.


President Bolsonaro (in red shirt) has repeatedly defied his government’s own advisory on social distancing to join his supporters in recent rallies [File: Sergio Lima/AFP]

“So what? I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do?” Bolsonaro told reporters when asked about the record deaths.

He promised to allow the federal police under the command of its new chief to have full autonomy from the government.

But earlier on Tuesday, the opposition Democratic Labor Party asked the Supreme Court to block Ramagem’s nomination, alleging an abuse of power.

Political turmoil

The affair has sparked talk in Congress of impeachment, just four years after such proceedings toppled former President Dilma Rousseff.

However, a poll by Datafolha published on Monday evening showed Brazilians divided on impeachment, with 45 percent supporting the move and 48 percent against.

Crucially, Bolsonaro appears to be keeping core supporters, the poll showed, with 33 percent of those surveyed saying they thought he was doing a good or excellent job.

Still, the accusations from the popular “super minister” Moro, who locked up many of powerful politicians and businessmen as a judge, has dented Bolsonaro’s corruption-fighting image, which was central to his 2018 campaign.

Moro said he had never seen political interference of the kind sought by Bolsonaro over Brazil’s federal police, even under previous governments, whose officials and allies were convicted of participating in sweeping corruption schemes.

A New Year’s party photo on social media of Ramagem grinning besides the president’s son Carlos Bolsonaro, a Rio de Janeiro city councillor, circulated widely on Tuesday, emphasising the close ties between the family and the new top cop.

Carlos Bolsonaro is the subject of a Supreme Court investigation looking at his role in disseminating “fake news,” according to newspaper Folha de S Paulo. His brother, legislator Eduardo Bolsonaro, was accused in a congressional investigation of participating in a “fake news” scheme.

Their eldest brother, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, is also being investigated by state prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro over alleged money laundering and misuse of public funds.

All three have denied any wrongdoing. They and the president have claimed the probes are politically motivated attacks.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro took to Facebook to defend Ramagem, after word of his nomination leaked to the press.

“So what? I knew Ramagem before he knew my children. Should he be vetoed for that reason? Whose friend should I pick?” the president said in a post. 

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Bolsonaro fires

Bolsonaro fires health minister, calls to reopen economy – Reuters

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his health minister after clashing with him over how to fight the coronavirus, and again called for states to end stay-at-home orders that he said were hurting the economy.


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