Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tested positive for COVID-19 hours after escorting President Jair Bolsonaro to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. According to the government’s communications office, Queiroga will stay under quarantine in New York. “The minister is doing well,” according to the statement. It went on to say that the remainder of the delegation had tested negative for the virus.
Queiroga told the media that he wore a mask the whole time he was at the United Nations building. Bolsonaro, a vaccine sceptic, disobeyed United Nations guidelines that required all attendees to get vaccinated. He has boasted about avoiding being immunised. Bolsonaro said in a speech to world leaders at a summit where the global coronavirus pandemic was on the table that his government did not favour the use of a vaccination passport and that his government supported treating the virus with untested medications such as the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine. He stated that Brazil’s COVID-19 immunisation programme had been a success and that all people who requested a vaccine would be fully immunised by November.
With unvaccinated customers excluded from eateries in New York, Bolsonaro and his entourage ate pizza on a sidewalk on Sunday’s first night in the city. The health minister was the second member of Brazil’s delegation to test positive in New York. A young diplomat who was part of an advance team preparing for Bolsonaro’s arrival tested positive and was isolated on the weekend. COVID-19 has killed 591,440 Brazilians, making it the world’s second-deadliest epidemic behind the one in the United States. The rolling 14-day average of COVID fatalities has dropped to 519 per day, down from almost 3,000 at the pandemic’s height in April as vaccination progresses throughout the country.
On a trip to the United States last year to visit former U.S. President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home, 22 members of Bolsonaro’s entourage were infected with coronavirus, the worst instance of transmission in a government that neglected safeguards. Bolsonaro, who looks forward to Trump as a political role model, has resisted COVID-19 lockdowns and seldom wears a mask.