July 7, 2020 / 6:26 PM / a month ago

Factbox: Brazil's Bolsonaro, now COVID-19 positive, has downplayed risks

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly minimized the gravity of the coronavirus and resisted measures to mitigate its spread, has tested positive for COVID-19. As of Monday, Brazil had registered 1,623,284 total coronavirus cases and 65,487 deaths attributable to the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his protective face mask at a press statement during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil, March 20, 2020. Picture taken March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

Following are some of Bolsonaro’s comments on the disease.

March 9, speaking to Brazilians in Miami:

“The coronavirus question, to my mind, has been exaggerated, the destructive power of that virus.”

March 24, in a televised address to the nation:

“With my history as an athlete, if I were infected by the virus I would not have to worry. I would feel nothing or, at most, it would be a little flu or a little cold.”

March 26, to reporters:

“It won’t get that bad (compared to the United States). Brazilians should be studied, they don’t catch anything. You see a guy jumping in a sewer and nothing happens to him.”

March 29, touring streets outside Brasilia without a mask:

“This is the reality: The virus is there. We have to face it, but face it like a man, damn it, not like a kid. We’ll confront the virus with reality. That’s life. We’re all going to die one day.”

April 12, addressing religious leaders via videoconference:

“It seems the matter of the virus is starting to go away.”

April 20, asked by a journalist about the latest death toll:

“Look man, I’m not a gravedigger.”

April 28, asked by journalists about the rising death toll:

“So what? I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do?”

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler

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