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Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests negative for COVID-19

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Saturday that he has tested negative for COVID-19, based on a fourth test since he said July 7 that he had the virus.

“Good morning everyone,” Bolsonaro wrote on Facebook after reporting that the test was “negative.”

The 65-year-old leader didn’t say when he did the new test. On Wednesday, he had tested positive for the third time.

Bolsonaro also posted a photo of himself with a box of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, although it has not been proven effective against the virus.

Now that Bolsonaro is clear of the virus, he is expected to return to mingling in crowds as he used to do before his diagnosis. He had spent many weekends since the beginning of the pandemic in close proximity to supporters, sometimes without wearing a mask.

On Thursday, he was photographed without a mask while talking to some sweepers in the garden of the presidential residence.

Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, is one of the outbreak’s epicenters. According to the Brazilian government, on Friday there were 85,238 confirmed deaths due to the new coronavirus. The country has 2,343,366 confirmed cases. The real numbers are believed to be higher.

On Monday, two more ministers in the Cabinet of Brazilian President said they have tested positive for the new coronavirus: the 65-year-old minister of citizenship, Onyx Lorenzoni, and Milton Ribeiro, the 62-year-old minister of education.

Bolsonaro’s administration last week completed two months without a health minister.

The interim minister, Gen. Eduardo Pazuello, who had no experience in the field before April, is facing pressure to leave the job. He took over after his predecessor, a doctor and health care consultant, quit in protest over Bolsonaro’s support for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, as a treatment for COVID-19.

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