Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he will be tested for COVID-19

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Jair Bolsonaro

FILE – In this April 9, 2019 file photo, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Bolsonaro’s latest education minister offered his resignation Tuesday, June 30, 2020, just days after his appointment, creating a new headache for the embattled leader as he struggles to start a new chapter at the ministry and shore up flagging support. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said he will be tested for COVID-19 after having an X-ray of his lungs on Monday. He didn’t say whether he was showing symptoms of the new coronavirus.

Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the risks of the disease, told supporters outside the presidential residence in capital Brasilia that he is feeling well.

Brazil’s Supreme Court published documents in May showing that Bolsonaro tested negative three times in March after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida. The Brazilian leader hasn’t said whether he took any additional tests for the disease since.

Bolsonaro’s prior tests were conducted using pseudonyms, as is customary for medical tests performed on Brazilian leaders in order to preserve their privacy.

The president has repeatedly appeared in public without wearing a mask, shaking hands with supporters and mingling with crowds. He has fiercely criticized local leaders’ restrictions on activity and said the economic impact of shutdowns would inflict more hardship than the virus.

More than 65,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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