General Otávio Rego Barros, spokesman for the Brazilian Presidency, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to sources from the Government of Jair Bolsonaro confirmed on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old official is at his home, where he will remain in quarantine, his health is “good” and he has “slight” symptoms of the disease, “sources from his team in the Presidency told Efe.
Rego Barros is the fourth member of the highest echelon of the Government of the leader of the Brazilian far-right who has been infected by COVID-19.
Previously they had suffered this disease, and they have already recovered, the head of the Ministry of Communication, Fabio Wajngarten, and the ministers of Institutional Security, Augusto Heleno, and Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque.
These last three were positive after returning from a trip to the United States as members of an official delegation led by Bolsonaro himself, who during that visit had a meeting in Miami with the US president, Donald Trump.
Upon returning to Brazil, Bolsonaro underwent examinations on two occasions and both times guaranteed that the result was negative.
However, it has refused to make the analyzes public, arguing that it is a “private” matter.
The newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo has gone to court to try to obtain these exams, alleging the “public interest” that exists regarding the health of the ruler.
Although a trial court ordered the president to present the results, a higher court later overturned that ruling and agreed with Bolsonaro’s attorneys that these reviews are within the framework of his “privacy.”
Bolsonaro, who refuses to accept the seriousness of COVID-19, which he has sometimes described as “influenza”, has joked about the results of his analyzes and has gone so far as to say that, if he made them public, they would later ask him for a “certificate of virginity. ”
Last week, in an interview with a radio station in the south of the country, he even hinted that he could have been infected.
“Maybe I caught that virus in the past. Maybe, maybe, but I didn’t feel it,” he said, although he had previously claimed that he “never” had coronavirus and stressed: “I don’t lie.”