Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga, accompanying vaccine-skeptical President Jair Bolsonaro at the UN General Assembly in New York, has Covid-19. Quiroga was earlier filmed shaking hands with British PM Boris Johnson.
Quiroga’s test came back positive several hours after Bolsonaro delivered his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, flouting the requirement for all those attending the high-profile event to be inoculated against the coronavirus.
The health minister, who is reportedly fully vaccinated, was feeling well and plans to self-isolate on the American territory for 14 days in accordance with health protocols, the Brazilian government said in a statement.All other members of the Brazilian delegation in New York have tested negative for the disease, it added.
Quiroga confirmed his illness on Twitter, assuring that the health ministry will still continue its battle against Covid-19 in Brazil, where the virus has already infected over 21 million people and killed over 591,000.
The minister later told CNN Brazil that he was wearing his face-mask the entire time that he was at the UN headquarters to witness Bolsonaro’s address.
On Monday, the Brazilian delegation negotiated with their UK counterparts in New York, with Quiroga being filmed shaking hands with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Brazilian Health Minister – who tested positive for Covid – was staying at the same hotel as President Biden in NYC.He went to the UN today to watch President Bolsonaro’s speech.Here, he shakes hands with Prime Minister Boris Jonhson- who met Biden today at the White House. pic.twitter.com/CSxdBuTIfY
— Raquel Krähenbühl (@Rkrahenbuhl) September 22, 2021
Earlier the same day, the health minister had breakfast with representatives of investment funds.
Hours before the UN General Assembly session on Tuesday, he accompanied Bolsonaro during his visit to the 9/11 Memorial.
It’s not the first time that Quiroga has made headlines at the General Assembly. On Tuesday he was captured on video giving two middle fingers to anti-Bolsonaro protesters outside a hotel where the Brazilian president and his entourage were staying.
The health minister worked in close contact with Bolsonaro during the US trip, being photographed together with the president on several occasions in recent days.
He was among the top Brazilian officials pictured eating pizza outside a New York eatery over the weekend. The city requires proof of vaccination from all restaurant-goers and, with Bolsonaro being unable to provide one, his delegation was forced to have dinner on the street.
The Brazilian leader refuses to get the jab, insisting that it should be a personal medical decision and that his natural antibodies are already “way up high” after he recovered from Covid-19 last year.
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