Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said he tested negative for the novel coronavirus, after reports suggested that he tested positive.
Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo told Fox News that further testing was being done to confirm the diagnosis and that they expected results later on Friday.
The Brazilian president said on Twitter that he tested negative, adding, “DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE MEDIA FAKE NEWS!”
The Brazilian newspaper Estadão first reported on Thursday that Bolsonaro had been tested for the coronavirus and was being monitored.
Bolsonaro’s communications chief, Fabio Wajngarten, has also tested positive for the virus, the Brazilian president’s office confirmed on Thursday.
Trump and Bolsonaro were photographed sitting next to each other less than a week ago, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The US president was photographed shaking Bolsonaro’s hand before dinner on Saturday.
Trump was also photographed standing next to Wajngarten five days before Wajngarten tested positive for the virus.
The White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said on Thursday that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did not need to be tested for the coronavirus because they had very little interaction with Wajngarten.
“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,” Grisham’s statement said. “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.”
Trump said this week that he “heard something about” Wajngarten having the coronavirus. “We had dinner together in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago, with the entire delegation,” Trump told McClatchy. “I don’t know if the press aide was there, if he was there, he was there. But we did nothing very unusual.”
“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,” Grisham’s statement said. “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.”
It added: “We are monitoring the situation closely and will update everyone as we get more information.”
This article has been updated to reflect that Bolsonaro said he tested negative. The article initially cited Brazilian news reports that said he tested positive.