Bolsonaro’s Health Chief Is Second on Brazil UN Trip With Covid
(Bloomberg) -- Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tested positive for the coronavirus in New York, where he had been part of President Jair Bolsonaro’s team attending several meetings during the United Nations General Assembly.
Queiroga didn’t fly to Brazil with Bolsonaro’s group Tuesday evening, but stayed on in New York to quarantine. Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa recommended that members of the presidential delegation who had contact with the minister go into isolation for 14 days upon returning home.
“I tested positive, but I have no symptoms,” Queiroga said to Bloomberg News through text messages. In an official statement, Brazil’s government said he “is doing well.” The minister, 55, is a cardiologist and was vaccinated in March.
The health minister becomes the second member of Bolsonaro’s delegation to the UN who’s tested positive for Covid. Queiroga had attended Bolsonaro’s meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday and also accompanied the Brazilian president during his Tuesday speech at the general assembly. In pictures and videos released by the Brazilian government, the minister is the only one in the country’s delegation wearing a mask.
On Sunday, when Bolsonaro’s traveling party arrived in the U.S., Queiroga appeared next to Bolsonaro and other ministers eating pizza on the sidewalk outside a Manhattan restaurant.
In the run-up to the General Assembly, Bolsonaro’s refusal to get a Covid vaccine had caused a stir. Citing New York City policies, the city’s International Affairs Commissioner wrote UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid noting that under New York rules, proof of vaccination should be required for entering UN headquarters.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, less than pleased by it all, called out the Brazilian president by name.
“We need to send a message to all the world leaders, including most notably Bolsonaro from Brazil, that if you intend to come here you need to be vaccinated,” Bill de Blasio told journalists. “If you don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t bother coming, because everyone should be safe together.”
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