Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus, according to local reports.
One of the major newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, Journal O Dia, reported the news. President Donald Trump dined with Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night and shook hands with his fellow world leader.
Bolsonaro was checked for the disease after his aide Fabio Wajngarten tested positive for it. The results of a second test on the Brazilian president are expected to be known on Friday.
On Thursday, Trump brushed aside concerns about the encounter – the latest in a series of brushes the president has had with the highly-contagious disease.
Both Bolsonaro and Wajngarten, his press secretary, were at the Winter White House Saturday night.
Trump and the first family have resisted going into self-quarantine despite other lawmakers who came into contact with those testing positive for the disease going into voluntary isolation.
Other world leaders, too, are self-quarantining. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in a voluntary 14-day quarantine after his wife, Sophie, tested positive for the disease.
Several members of the first family were at the Winter White House that night where there was a birthday party for Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., in addition to the working dinner for the Brazilian delegation.
One of those was Ivanka Trump, who, it was revealed late Thursday, had another brush with the disease.
She and Attorney General Bill Barr posed for a photograph with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on March 5 – days before he tested positive for coronavirus.
They were meeting as part of a meeting between officials from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. The next day, Ivanka Trump attended the dinner at Mar-a-Lago with her father and Bolsonaro.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, said he would ‘likely’ have been tested after coming in contact with Bolsonaro’s aide who tested positive for the coronavirus.
When asked if he would get a test, he told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’: ‘Likely I would, but I’m not sure.
‘It depends on the circumstances,’ he added.
Wajngarten, the Bolsonaro aide who was at Mar-a-Lago for Saturday’s dinner and the birthday party, tested positive for the virus, setting off a chain of events on Thursday, including a test for his boss. Brazil has at least 73 confirmed cases of coronavirus and zero deaths thus far.
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald reported on Thursday that Bolsonaro took two tests: ‘The result should be ready. But the presidential palace is now saying the result will only be released Friday, which likely means he had a second test, and that one takes longer,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would self-quarantine and be tested for the virus. The South Carolina senator was at Mar-a-Lago this weekend.
‘Senator Graham was at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. He has no recollection of direct contact with the President of Brazil, who is awaiting results of a coronavirus test, or his spokesman who tested positive,’ Graham’s office said in a statement.
‘However, in an abundance of caution and upon the advice of his doctor, Senator Graham has decided to self-quarantine awaiting the results of a coronavirus test. This is a precautionary measure. He will continue to work from home,’ his office noted.
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida also said that he will self-quarantine after he met with the Brazil delegation, which included Wajngarten.
President Trump, who was photographed standing next to Wajngartenn and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night, said Thursday he was ‘not concerned’ about possibly contracting the virus.
‘Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned,’ Trump told reporters Thursday while meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham addressed the situation before reports of Bolsonaro’s test.
‘The White House is aware of public reports that a member of the Brazilian delegation’s visit to Mar-a-Lago last weekend tested positive for COVID-19; confirmatory testing is pending. Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps. Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time,’ she said, referring to Wajngarten.
‘As stated before, the White House Medical Unit and the United States Secret Service has been working closely with various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First & Second Families, and all White House staff healthy,’ she noted.
‘To reiterate CDC guidelines, there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine,’ Grisham said. ‘We are monitoring the situation closely and will update everyone as we get more information.’
Wajngarten accompanied his boss on the Florida visit, which included meetings with officials and the dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
The encounter was the latest brush Trump has had with the coronavirus. An attendee at CPAC, the annual conservative conference that the president addressed at the end of February, tested positive for the virus.
The American Conservative Union, which sponsors the conference, was quick to say the person had no direct contact with Trump or Pence, who also spoke. But three lawmakers went into self-quarantine because they did and all had contact with the president: new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Rep. Doug Collins and Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Gaetz was also at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night for the dinner and birthday party. Additionally, the Florida Republican flew back to Washington D.C. with the president on Air Force One on Monday.
The president has not been tested for the coronavirus, according to the White House.
Senator Scott said in a statement on Thursday that, when he met with the president in Brazil in Miami on Monday, he was in the same room as the Wajngarten.
‘While I do not believe I interacted with the infected person, that individual was in the same room as me,’ Scott said.
‘The embassy said the person had no symptoms leading up to or the day of the conference,’ he noted. ‘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.’
He said, however, he would self-quarantine out of ‘an abundance of caution.’
‘I am feeling healthy and not experiencing any symptoms at this time,’ Scott said.
A columnist for the newspaper, Monica Bergamo, said Wajngarten was tested for coronavirus at the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo on Wednesday.
His test result was positive, multiple news outlets reported.
In the photo he posted on Instagram from the Saturday night events at Mar-a-Lago, Wajngarten is standing next to Trump wearing a ‘Make Brazil great again’ cap.
Vice President Mike Pence was next to Trump.
In addition to the working dinner at Mar-a-Lago, there was a birthday party for Guilfoyle, attended by several members of the first family and many Trump allies.
Spotted at the lavish bash: Donald Trump Jr., her boyfriend of almost two years; Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump; Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner; Tiffany Trump; Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney; Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was also there as was National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien; Senator Rand Paul’s Deputy Chief of Staff Sergio Gor, Fox News’ Jesse Watters and his wife Emma Watters; and new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been more than 1,360 reported cases of coronavirus in the United States. At least 39 people have died.
Last month, Trump said he was not concerned about contracting the virus after a man in his 50s who attended the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference that began on February 26.
The American Conservative Union, the organization that runs CPAC, insisted the patient had no contact with either Trump or Pence at the conservative gathering in National Harbor, Maryland.
‘A New Jersey hospital tested the person, and CDC confirmed the positive result,’ the ACU said.
‘The individual is under the care of medical professionals in the state of New Jersey, and has been quarantined.’
The attendee did not listen to any speeches in the main hall, the ACU confirmed.
Several senior White House officials attended the event, including White House adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, White House senior counselor Jared Kushner, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and the former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Donald Trump Jr was also there as were several members of the president’s cabinet including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to reporters that precautions were being taken although she did not offer specifics.
‘The White House is aware of an individual testing positive for coronavirus after attending the CPAC conference that took place nearly two weeks ago. At this time, there is no indication that either President Trump or Vice President Pence met with or were in close proximity to the attendee.
‘The president’s physician and United States Secret Service have been working closely with White House staff and various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the first family and the entire White House complex safe and heathy,’ she said.’
Donald Trump Jr did not come into contact with the individual at CPAC, a spokesman said.
‘It has been confirmed that Don did not come into contact with the individual that tested positive,’ said a spokesman for the president’s son told DailyMail.com.
Alan Berger, a 55-year-old gynecologist who works for NYU Langone Health, volunteered to isolate himself and is no longer seeing patients, the facility confirmed in a statement.
Authorities have not commented on suggestions Berger is the ‘patient zero’ who interacted with Cruz and Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, at CPAC.
The CPAC patient was described as a 55-year-old man who was recovering in New Jersey; Dr. Berger is a 55-year-old man who has self-isolated in New Jersey.
New Jersey authorities have confirmed that a 55-year-old man from Englewood was quarantined for a presumptive positive attended CPAC. He was in stable condition and has been hospitalized since March 4,
The Englewood man attended services at a temple in New Rochelle, New York, according to New Jersey commissioner of health Judith Persichille.
Schlapp shook hands with the president and mingled with Ivanka Trump, Lara Trump and Jared Kushner during the event in Washington, D.C,’s Maryland suburbs but says he’s ‘healthy as a horse’ and has urged attendees not to panic.
Cruz, however, announced last Sunday: ‘Last night, I was informed that 10 days ago at CPAC I briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19.
‘That interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake.’
It was later announced that a second lawmaker, Arizona Republican Paul Gosar, and three members of his staff had also gone into quarantine following ‘contact at CPAC with a person who has since been hospitalized with the Wuhan Virus.‘
By EMILY GOODIN