Brazilian President Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

The president announced his positive result live Tuesday on Brazilian TV

Updated: July 7, 2020 - 3:30pm

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday during a national broadcast that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus

"Everyone knew that it would reach a considerable part of the population sooner or later," he said, after taking the test Monday. "It was positive for me."

He reassured supporters that his lungs were "clean," but warned people not to get too close to him. 

Brazil is second only to the U.S. worldwide in reported virus cases and related deaths. 

Bolsonaro previously called the sometimes deadly virus, just a "little flu." He often appeared in public and at rallies without a mask, sometimes hugging his supporters. He has continued to encourage his country to reopen, and has been critical of social distancing and shelter-in-place measures.

In March, Bolsonaro tested negative for the virus following a meeting with President Trump, after which several of Bolsonaro's entourage members tested positive. 

More than 65,000 people have died in Brazil of the virus, and more than 1.6 million cases have been confirmed so far, according to the country's health ministry. 

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