RECIFE, Brazil – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he was taking antibiotics and has mold in his lungs, detected after recovering from COVID-19.
In his weekly live broadcast on Facebook, Bolsonaro said he had taken a blood test on Wednesday after feeling weak and that doctors “found a bit of infection also. Now I’m on antibiotics.”
“After 20 days inside the house, I have other problems. I got some mold in my lungs,” he added.
The Brazilian president did not provide further details on the origin and extent of the infection, but was categorical in stating that he had recovered from COVID-19 and had antibodies for the virus.
Nonetheless, he will review his agenda for Friday, when he was planning to travel to the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which has extremely cold temperatures at this time.
Bolsonaro, one of the most skeptical world leaders about the severity of the epidemic, which had left more than 2.6 million confirmed cases and 91,000 deaths in the country up until Thursday, resumed his work routine on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 7.
The head of state insisted on the use of chloroquine to treat patients with coronavirus and said that this antimalarial drug led to his rapid recovery, despite there being no scientific evidence that it is effective against COVID-19 and that it could cause heart problems, among other things.
Bolsonaro said he started feeling better the very day after his doctor sent him chloroquine and that the same was true of Minister of Citizenship Onyx Lorenzoni.
The president, who traveled to the states of Piaui and Bahia on Thursday, urged people not to discard chloroquine as a treatment saying that while there was no scientific evidence of its effectiveness against the virus, there was no proof that it was ineffective either and added that it was a recommended line of treatment by some.
During his first trip outside Brasilia since he resumed normal activities this week, the president was greeted by hundreds of followers in Piaui, where he donned a hat typical of the region while sitting on a horse and did not wear a face mask, as is mandatory in the state.
In his weekly livestreamed video, the president did not comment on his wife, Michelle, who has also tested positive for the virus as announced Thursday, and reaffirmed his commitment to the vaccine being developed by Britain’s Oxford University.
Bolsonaro said there was a lot of talk about the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford and that everything seemed to indicate that it would be a success.
In addition to the Oxford vaccine, Brazil is also betting on another vaccine, which is in the final stage of testing.
Chinese laboratory Sinovac, in partnership with the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, is testing the vaccine on 9,000 Brazilian volunteers.