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Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he tested negative for COVID-19, credits hydroxychloroquine for recovery

BRASILIA — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announces he has tested negative for the new coronavirus more than two weeks after being diagnosed on July 7, attributing his recovery to an unproven malaria drug.

“RT-PCR for Sars-Cov 2: negative. Good morning everyone,” the 65-year-old tweets, along with a photo of himself smiling and holding a packet of hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness against COVID-19 has not been demonstrated in clinical trials.

He doesn’t say when he took the latest test.

The president, who has routinely downplayed the virus he calls a “little flu” but which is currently ravaging his country, spent nearly 20 days self-isolating at his official residence in the capital Brasilia, the Alvorada Palace.

During that time he underwent at least three more virus tests, all positive.

Three polls released this week showed the leader dubbed a “Tropical Trump” would win re-election in 2020, despite his controversial handling of the virus crisis.

The pandemic has exploded in Brazil, the country with the most infections and deaths from COVID-19 anywhere in the world except the United States.

The Latin American powerhouse has registered nearly 2.3 million cases of the new coronavirus and more than 84,000 deaths, and the numbers have continued to rise rapidly.

— AFP

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