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Friday, February 3, 2023

Unvaccinated Brazilian Prez’s Son Gets COVID After New York Trip

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo and Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina have both tested positive for COVID-19 after high-profile trips abroad, potentially exposing dozens of others to the virus.

Cristina is the second member of the president’s cabinet to be diagnosed with the virus after making the announcement on Twitter on Friday morning. Bolsonaro’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said earlier this week that he had tested positive during the Brazilian delegation’s trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and has been isolating in the United States.

It brings the tally of positive cases in the unvaccinated president’s inner circle to at least three.

Eduardo, who had joined his father on the New York trip, also said on Twitter on Friday that he tested positive this week, adding that he had previously received a first dose of the Pfizer shot.

In photos posted to his Instagram account days earlier, he can be seen visiting the office of Gettr, a social media platform led by former President Donald Trump’s adviser Jason Miller. He is shown in close proximity to others indoors while not wearing a mask.

Bolsonaro, who had a case of the virus last July, has been widely criticized for his handling of the pandemic and has repeatedly endorsed unproven drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 while suggesting he was undecided about whether or not he would get vaccinated.

During a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who lauded the AstraZeneca vaccine, Bolsonaro said he had not gotten the jab.

“Get AstraZeneca vaccines,” Johnson said during his meeting with Bolsonaro, according to a video shared by the Guardian. “I’ve had it twice.”

Pointing to himself, and wagging a finger, Bolsonaro responded through an interpreter, “Not yet.”

The Brazilian president said that he had canceled a trip and been isolating in Brasilia since Wednesday after he learned of his health chief’s diagnosis.

During a weekly livestream, Bolsonaro seemed to foreshadow the announcements when on Thursday evening he said that two more people had tested positive and, while declining to name them, he said that they were both vaccinated and well-known figures, Reuters reported.

On Friday, after publicly disclosing her illness, Cristina said on Twitter that she would continue to isolate based on medical advice and is doing well. According to her public schedule, she was not among the delegation that traveled to New York for the UN General Assembly but had recently met with G20 ministers in Italy. On Wednesday, she appeared in photos shared on Facebook with Brazil’s Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Freitas who is not wearing a mask.

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