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Brazilian official who met with President Trump tests positive for coronavirus

Published: Updated:

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director tested positive for the new coronavirus, just days after traveling with Bolsonaro to a meeting with US President Donald Trump in Florida.

A statement from the president’s communications office on Thursday said director Fabio 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 US and on Saturday was at the Mar-a-Lago resort, where he posted a photo of himself posing beside Trump.

A video from the event also showed him standing directly behind both presidents as they addressed a crowd.

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.

Picture taken on November 12, 2019 showing Brazil’s Communication Secretary Fabio Wajngarten at Planalto Palace in Brasilia. (AFP)
Picture taken on November 12, 2019 showing Brazil’s Communication Secretary Fabio Wajngarten at Planalto Palace in Brasilia. (AFP)

He is now in self-quarantine at home, according to the statement.

The government also communicated with US authorities so that they can take cautionary measures, the Brazilian statement said.

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But Trump said he was “not concerned,” and the White House said he did not need testing.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “had almost no interactions with the individual,” Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

They “do not require being tested at this time,” she said, explaining that US government guidelines do not recommend testing for people without symptoms.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, who also accompanied his father to the United States, said he was undergoing testing as well.

The Brazilian delegation also included Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, who cut short a subsequent trip to Washington Thursday to return to Brazil.

He would follow all current protocols on the virus, his office said.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

(With The Associated Press, AFP)