After news reports that President Trump met with a Brazilian official who later tested positive for coronavirus, concerns about the president’s health have circulated. Some have wondered: Could the president have coronavirus? Is that possible? The White House released a statement on March 12, 2020 in response to those concerns, stating that the president – and Vice President Mike Pence – have not been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).
President Trump later revealed that he tested negative for coronavirus.
In the statement, the White House said: “The White House is aware of public reports that a member of the Brazilian delegation’s visit to Mar-a-Lago last weekend tested positive for COVID-19; confirmatory testing is pending. Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps. Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time.”
“As stated before, the White House Medical Unit and the United States Secret Service has been working closely with various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First & Second Families, and all White House staff healthy. To reiterate CDC guidelines, there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update everyone as we get more information.”
This was before conflicting reports emerged about whether the president of Brazil, who met with President Trump on March 7, 2020 at Mar-a-Lago, has coronavirus. A major Brazilian newspaper said he does, as reported Fox News, but Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, now denies it. John Roberts of Fox News wrote on Twitter, “After telling @FoxNews that his father had a preliminary POSITIVE test for coronavirus, Eduardo Bolsonaro now tells @FoxNews the test was NEGATIVE. Bolsonaro says has been in touch with the White House.”
Bolsonaro and his son then took to social media to deny the president of Brazil has coronavirus, adding to confusion over the issue.
Jair Bolsonaro’s official Facebook page stated on March 13, 2020 that he tested negative for coronavirus, writing, “HFA/SABIN atestam negativo para o COVID-19 o Sr. Pres. da República Jair Bolsonaro.” His son then tweeted, “Result of Jair Bolsonaro @jairbolsonaro for coronavirus it was NEGATIVE.”
Here’s what you need to know:
President Trump Met the Infected Official & Dined With the President of Brazil
According to McClatchy DC, Trump “stood next to Fabio Wajngarten, an aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro” in an Instagram picture, which also features Bolsonaro and Pence. The president of Brazil met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago last Saturday.
“We had dinner together in Florida in — at Mar-a-Lago, with the entire delegation. I don’t know if the press aide was there. If he was there, he was there,” Trump said to reporters, according to McClatchy.
NPR reported that, per the Brazilian government, Wajngarten has now tested positive for coronavirus. Trump added to reporters, according to NPR: “Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned.” The site reported that Florida Sen. Rick Scott is self quarantining because of meeting Wajngarten.
There was conflicting information about whether Bolsonaro also has tested positive for coronavirus. Some Brazilian sites are reporting that he has; however, according to The Guardian, the reports “are being discredited as fake news and none of Brazil’s main media sites have confirmed them.”
The Guardian reported that the Brazilian president has taken a test but the results won’t be known until Friday, and his son tweeted that the president of Brazil “is not exhibiting any signs of the disease.”
However, on Friday, The Guardian reported that a major Brazilian newspaper now says the president of Brazil also has coronavirus. Then Bolsonaro denied it.
Jornal O Dia wrote of Bolsonaro: “His face was pale and haggard, his eyes a little teary from his live last Thursday. The President was tested positive for the coronavirus.” The underlying story reports, “the first test for coronavirus infection was positive in the President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro.”
According to the Guardian, Bolsonaro dined with Trump and Instagram photos show “the press secretary, Bolsonaro and Trump all in close proximity.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”
CDC adds: “People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
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