Brazil's Bolsonaro says he's negative for coronavirus; Trump 'most likely' to be tested

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, center, stands with President Donald Trump, second from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, during a dinner in Florida on March 7, 2020.


By DEIRDRE SHESGREEN AND KIM HJELMGAARD | USA Today | Published: March 14, 2020

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(Tribune News Service) — Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro announced Friday that he has tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

But a growing number of other world leaders appear to have been exposed to the disease. Here's our watch list of presidents, prime ministers and supreme leaders who may be vulnerable to infection.

US President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has had contact with at least one infected individual: Fabio Wajngarten, the communications secretary for Brazil's Bolsanaro.

Wajngarten was in Florida last weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, and he posted a photo of himself standing next to the American leader.

Trump said Friday that he would "most likely" be tested for coronavirus, but not because of his recent interactions.

"Not for that reason but because I think I will do it anyway," Trump said of his possible exposure via the infected Brazilian official. "Fairly soon, we're working out a schedule."

Trump spoke at a Rose Garden news conference where he declared a national emergency to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

The president saidbecause he has shown no symptoms of infection, White House doctors say he doesn't need to be tested.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time," White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Thursday.

"There is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine," she said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Like President Donald Trump, Britain's leader is so far insisting he doesn't need to be tested,one of his health ministers tested positive for coronavirus.

Nadine Dorries attended a reception with Boris Johnson and his fiancé, Carrie Symonds, in Downing Street – his office and residence – on March 5. Dorries is self-isolating.

British lawmakers are currently debating whether to temporarily shut down Parliament. Dorries' boss, Matt Hancock, Britain's cabinet-level health minister, has also not been tested.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Cameron Ahmad, communications director for the prime minister.

The prime minister "is in good health with no symptoms," said Ahmad. "As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days. Also on the advice of doctors, he will not be tested at this stage since he has no symptoms. For the same reason, doctors say there is no risk to those who have been in contact with him recently."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

A senior cabinet member in Australia's government, Peter Dutton, said Friday he is infected with coronavirus.

Australia's prime minister, Scott Morrison, has not been tested based on medical advice, according to Australian news reports.

Dutton was in Washington for meetings connected to the so-called Five Eyes security pact, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the U.S. A March 6 photo from that event shows Dutton standing next to Ivanka Trump, Attorney General William Barr and other White House officials.

Australia has more than 120 cases of COVID-19. Among them: The actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson. The Hollywood couple confirmed on Wednesday that they are in isolation in the country after testing positive for the disease. "We are taking it one-day-at-a-time," Hanks said in a tweet.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's utmost authority for all domestic and foreign policy has seen several of his closest aides diagnosed with coronavirus.

Iran has one of the largest clusters of cases outside of China. It's not known whether Khamenei and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani have been tested.

But more than 10% of Iran's lawmakers have fallen ill with the disease and it has also not spared top officials, including its senior vice-president, Cabinet ministers, Revolutionary Guard members and health ministry officials.

Several lawmakers have died.

Recently, Khamenei has peddled an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory suggesting the country's coronavirus outbreak could be part of a biological attack on the Islamic Republic.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte

Italy is the hardest-hit country in Europe, with more than 15,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

At least one politician has publicly disclosed infection; Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the country's Democratic Party, said he tested positive.

"So, it's arrived, I also have coronavirus," he said in a Facebook post. "I am fine, and therefore I am in quarantine at home. From here, I'll continue to do what I can do ... I have always said 'don't panic' and that we will fight this."

But there's no indication that Italy's prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has been exposed or infected.    


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