The mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, revealed today that he tested positive for COVID-19. In a video released this morning, Suarez explained that anyone who was in the viscinity when he coughed or sneezed in the last few days should “self-isolate for 14 days.” Here’s his announcement:
My message to our residents in light of the news that I have tested positive for COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/gW9IziifQm
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) March 13, 2020
What’s especially concerning about this development is that mayor Suarez got the infection from an official traveling with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. As Allahpundit pointed out yesterday, both Bolsonaro and the infected official also met with other U.S. elected officials including President Trump.
Suarez was one of several politicians, including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Sen. Rick Scott and President Donald Trump, who interacted with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his staff during a visit to South Florida last week. The mayor went into isolation Thursday after learning that one of Boslonaro’s staffers tested positive.
Fabio Wajngarten, press secretary to Bolsonaro, tested positive on Thursday.
Just to clarify what is currently a point of confusion, there was a report earlier today in the Brazilian media that Bolsonaro himself had tested positive for the virus. But Bolsonaro and his son have since disputed that saying he was in fact tested but the test was negative:
Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo quickly denied the diagnosis on social media and then in an interview on Fox News, but late Friday morning the Brazilian president himself posted on his social media accounts that he had tested negative for the disease.
“DON’T BELIEVE IN THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA!” he wrote in Portuguese. “THEY’RE THE ONES THAT NEED YOU!”…
In the interview on Fox, the Brazilian president’s son said that his father was not exhibiting symptoms of the respiratory illness and that “the information I have is the results that just came up, telling that he is negative for coronavirus,” clarifying that those were the results of his father’s first test.
So it appears that Bolsonaro does not have the virus but his press secretary Fabio Wajngarten definitely does and he was the one who apparently spread it to mayor Suarez. Yesterday CNN reported that Wajngarten was in close proximity to Trump during a visit to Mar-a-Lago last Saturday:
The Brazilian press secretary attended the dinner Trump hosted at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, took a photo with the US President and later stood feet away from Trump as he spoke during Kimberly Guilfoyle’s birthday, the sources said.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement Thursday saying: “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.”
Here’s a photo Wajngarten posted to his Instagram account showing him standing next to Trump for a picture (wearing the hat):
And here’s a video he posted which suggests he was only a few feet away from Trump:
Trump said yesterday that he wasn’t concerned about his close proximity to someone who had the virus:
President Donald Trump Thursday said he is “not concerned” about reports that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary has tested positive for coronavirus, just days after the two met at Mar-a Lago.
“Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
But he said that before mayor Suarez tested positive based on transmission from the same individual. At a minimum this whole story reinforces the message about the importance of social distancing. But the potential danger is serious enough that earlier today Dr. Marc Siegel suggested on Fox Business that maybe the president should be tested or consider self-quarantine (Note: This went up before the situation about Bolsonaro’s test had been clarified):