Bolsonaro’s wife was vaccinated during his New York tour
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s proudly unvaccinated president, is struggling with a fallout from his trip to New York last week to speak at the United Nations: a fourth member of his crew has tested positive for COVID-19, And his wife Michelle has chosen. Get vaccinated before returning home.
Pedro Duarte Guimaraes, an economist who is the chief executive of Caixa Economica Federal, a leading Brazilian banking institution, revealed on Sunday that he had tested positive, Brazil’s health minister, Marcelo Quiroga, Mr Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo and a Joined with a Brazilian diplomat. Mr Quiroga, who was diagnosed during the trip, remained in isolation at a New York hotel.
Mr Guimaraes and Mr Quiroga have said they were fully vaccinated. Mr Bolsonaro, whose insistence on mitigating the pandemic has been widely criticized, has refused vaccination, arguing that his own recovery from a Covid infection last year gave him resistance to a recurrence.
Defying the UN honor system that requires proof of vaccination, Mr Bolsonaro was the first leader to address the General Assembly last Tuesday, when it began the annual high-level week of speeches by representatives of its 193 members.
The potentially contagious Brazilians prompted UN officials to inform all diplomats in the organization who may have been in contact with them. UN chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said as of Monday no one had reported testing positive.
Mrs Bolsonaro’s vaccinations, which Mr Bolsonaro revealed after he returned home on Thursday, generated more adverse publicity, apparently revealing the couple’s lack of solidarity on the subject and – for some Brazilians – Brazil’s Disrespect system by the first lady for her country’s own health.
“So what happened to my wife, just now in the United States. She came to ask me: ‘Should I get the vaccine or not?'” he said during their weekly Facebook Live chat. “I gave her my opinion. I won’t say what my opinion was. I’m going to say what he did. He took the comment. “
Mr Bolsonaro, 66, also said: “She’s an adult, she’s 39, she knows what she’s doing and she’s been vaccinated.”
The presidential office sought to clarify the circumstances in a statement Friday night, clarifying that all members of Mr. Bolsonaro’s crew were to undergo a COVID test before boarding the plane back to Brazil. During the test, the doctor who administered it asked Mrs Bolsonaro if she would like to get the vaccine, the statement said.
“Since she was already thinking about taking a shot, she decided to accept,” it said.
The statement did not identify the vaccine given to him. Senator Omar Aziz, the head of the parliamentary commission investigating Mr Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, suggested she could have performed a patriotic duty by getting vaccinated at home.
“I congratulate Mrs Michele, who, unlike her husband, was vaccinated,” she told Brazilian media, but “someone should have told her that the vaccine implemented in the United States is the same as in Brazil. ” (In addition to the vaccines approved in the United States, Brazil has also used the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines.)
Mr and Mrs Bolsonaro both tested negative on Sunday, his office said.
Nearly 600,000 Brazilians have died from Covid, the second-highest toll after the United States, according to the New York Times database, where more than 688,000 people have died, and only 41 percent of Brazil’s population has been fully vaccinated.
Ernesto Londonno contributed reporting.
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