RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director tested positive for the new coronavirus, just days after traveling with Bolsonaro to a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida.
A statement from the president’s communications office on Thursday said director Fábio Wajngarten's test results have come back positive, and that the presidency is adopting preventive measures to ensure Bolsonaro’s health.
Wajngarten joined Bolsonaro on a three-day trip to the U.S. and on Saturday was at the Mar-a-Lago resort, where he posted a photo of himself posing next to Trump. A video from the event also showed him standing directly behind both presidents as they addressed a crowd.
📷 Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, instagrammed this selfie of himself hanging out with Trump and Pence before he tested positive for coronavirus. https://t.co/7qHOMAOG1P pic.twitter.com/eqFnGKCQ0A— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) March 12, 2020
“I did hear something about that,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We had dinner together in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago, with the entire delegation. I don’t know if the press aide was there, if he was there, he was there. But we did nothing very unusual.”
Trump said he and Bolsonaro “sat next to each other for a period of time, had great conversation. He’s doing a terrific job in Brazil. We’ll find out what happens. I guess they’re being tested right now,” Trump said, adding: “I’m not concerned.”
According to a report in the Miami Herald, Bolsonaro and Wajinarten also met with Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, who just announced he would be self-quarantining for 14 days.
“After consulting with the Senate’s attending physician and my personal doctor, I have been told that my risk is low and I don’t need to take a test or quarantine," Scott said in a statement. “However, the health and safety of the American people is my focus and I have made the decision to self-quarantine in an abundance of caution.”
The Herald also reported Bolsonaro’s team also visited the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer’s plant on Jacksonville’s Northside.
Wajngarten initially denied a report on Wednesday that he had been tested for the virus, saying on his social media account that his health was fine. He is now in self-quarantine at home, according to the statement.
The government also communicated with U.S. authorities so that they can take cautionary measures, the Brazilian statement said.