Bolsonaro says that even though science doesn’t support it, hydroxychloroquine has made him feel better
“I did the test yesterday, and at night the result came back that I am still positive for coronavirus,” Bolsonaro said. “I hope that in the coming days I will do another test and, God willing, everything will be all right to return soon to activity.”
Bolsonaro has continuously downplayed the severity of the coronavirus, calling it a “little flu” and losing two ministers of health after reported disagreements on how seriously the coronavirus should be handled.
Brazil has reported almost 2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus along with over 75,000 deaths – making it the second most severe case of the outbreak in the world, according to John Hopkins data.
Bolsonaro said he hasn’t been experiencing any symptoms and has been isolated in his presidential residence. He did appear at a flag ceremony Wednesday on the presidential grounds, where he donned a mask and remained socially distanced from others.
The far-right leader has also touted the effectiveness in treating the coronavirus by using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has pulled all hydroxychloroquine stockpiles, saying there are too many adverse effects and not enough proof that it treats COVID-19 symptoms.
“I was medicated from the beginning with hydroxychloroquine, with a doctor’s recommendation. I felt better the next day,” Bolsonaro said, according to a report by Reuters. “Whether it is a coincidence or not … it worked for me.”
Wednesday marked the second month that Brazil has gone without a health minister. Former Health Minister Dr. Nelson Teich resigned after serving for only one month. Reports surfaced that Teich left his post because of repeated disagreements with Bolsonaro about promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine.
Bolsonaro also rejected social distancing measures and the wearing of masks and pushed to reopen the economy, disregarding stay-at-home orders issued by the Department of Health.
Teich’s predecessor, Luiz Henrique, was reportedly fired from his position for disagreeing with the president over these measures as well.
“We know that there is no scientific evidence, but it worked with me,” Bolsonaro said Wednesday on social media. “The future will say whether that remedy is effective or not. It was for me. I believe in it. If it was, a lot of people were wrong. People with responsibility.”