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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro checks optimistic for coronavirus

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday, shortly after the Presidential Palace said he had shown symptoms related to the disease.

Bolsonaro announced his diagnosis to journalists and said he felt sick on Sunday, several outlets reported.

The president also reportedly confirmed that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that President Donald Trump has hailed as a potential preventive treatment for the disease, and azithromycin. None of the drugs has been shown to be an effective prophylaxis or treatment for Covid-19.

The right-wing leader, 65, has consistently downplayed the virus threat in recent months, calling it nothing more than "a little flu". He also suggested that his past as an athlete would make him immune to the worst symptoms of the disease.

Brazil has suffered one of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks, with over 1.6 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and over 65,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

South America's largest country is the second largest country with the highest number of confirmed cases after the United States.

The president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, tweeted his own confirmation of the diagnosis and said it was "without further complications," according to a translation of his contribution.

"But the president will emerge from it," tweeted the younger Bolsonaro. "Treatment with chloroquine is very effective at the onset of the disease."

The government confirmed to NBC News on Monday that Bolsonaro had felt unwell and had a fever of 38 degrees Celsius. Bolsonaro had been tested for the virus after his symptoms appeared, the NBC Presidential Palace said.

Last month, a judge ordered Bolsonaro to wear a face mask in public, which he has often failed to do. However, a separate court order later overturned this decision.

On Saturday, Bolsonaro was pictured alongside Todd Chapman, the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, and several others at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo published a photo of the meeting on July 4, which brought Bolsonaro, Chapman and others without a face mask together around a table.

The U.S. embassy in Brasilia did not immediately respond to CNBC's request to comment on Bolsonaro's diagnosis.

Throughout the pandemic, Bolsonaro has insisted that maintaining social distance and avoiding public gatherings is not necessary to combat the spread of the virus. Instead, Bolsonaro has said that compliance with these guidelines will negatively impact the country's economic recovery.

In April, Bolsonaro released his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who supported social distance restrictions and reportedly received good grades from the Brazilian people for dealing with the pandemic.

The president ran a negative test for Covid-19 in March after the virus was diagnosed by his spokesman Fabio Wajngarten. Days earlier, Wajngarten, Bolsonaro, and other Brazilian officials had traveled to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where an Instagram photo showed them dining nearby.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who also attended this meeting, were not tested immediately after Wajngarten's diagnosis was revealed. Trump said at the time that he was "not worried" about his contact with the Brazilian delegation, and White House press secretary at the time, Stephanie Grisham, said Trump and Pence didn't need any tests because they "had almost no interactions" with Had a garden.

Since then, Trump and Pence have repeatedly tested negative for the corona virus, according to the White House.

Bolsonaro is not the first world leader to be infected with the virus: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive in April, suffered from such severe symptoms that he was transferred to an intensive care unit for several days.

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