Bolsonaro, who has been an outlier among world leaders in his skepticism of both the coronavirus and preventive measures intended to curb it, was tested Monday evening after developing symptoms that included a fever.
The result adds one more case to what has become the world’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak, after the United States. Brazil has reported more than 1.6 million cases and 65,000 deaths — both believed to be undercounts — an escalating disaster that scientists and health officials say has been exacerbated by Bolsonaro’s frequent dismissal of it.
Bolsonaro, 65, has described covid-19 as a “little cold,” repeatedly waded into crowds of supporters, threatened to host a large barbecue to spite health measures, and as recently as last week attended a Fourth of July party at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia without wearing a mask. A Brazilian court last month ordered Bolsonaro to wear a mask while in public.