The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has announced live on television he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Iran PressAmerica: The Brazilian president, who has consistently downplayed the dangers of the virus, revealed his positive test result during nationally televised remarks Tuesday. "It came back positive," he told reporters from behind a mask.

According to Reuters, he is just the second major world leader, after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to confirm he contracted the virus.

With more than 1.6 million confirmed cases as of Tuesday, Brazil is in the throes of the world's second-largest outbreak, behind only the U.S. More than 65,000 people there have died of complications linked to COVID-19, a towering death toll that again stands second only to that of the US And because of a significant lag in testing, Brazilian researchers believe the real numbers are much, much higher than the official tallies.

Yet Bolsonaro, 65, has repeatedly doubted the severity of the virus since it first found a foothold in Brazil, reportedly in late February. A key ally of President Trump, the right-wing Brazilian leader has called the coronavirus "the little flu," accused the media of hysteria and campaigned against the shutdowns implemented by local leaders.

Bolsonaro originally dismissed the coronavirus as a "little flu" and his opposition to lockdowns and flouting of measures aimed at stifling the spread have provoked a hail of criticism from some.


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