Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro—who has repeatedly dismissed the threat of the coronavirus and has faced mounting criticism for his government’s response to the pandemic—tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Tuesday.
“On Sunday, I wasn’t feeling very well,” the 65-year-old leader said. “On Monday, it got worse when I started feeling tired and some muscle pain. I also had a 38-degree fever.”
Bolsonaro told CNN Brasil Tuesday that he’s feeling “perfectly well” despite the diagnosis.
ABC News reported that Bolsonaro’s frequent mask-less appearances included one at a July 4th celebration at the American Embassy, where he was photographed with U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman.
The Brazilian president also took his mask off Tuesday as he spoke to reporters, saying, “Just look at my face. I’m well, fine, thank God.”
Brazil-based journalist Glenn Greenwald noted that the COVID-19 announcement comes as the “country is on Day 53 of having no Health Minister. The last two were fired/resigned within 30 days of each other for endorsing science.”
Bolsonaro’s announcement also comes as the number of global coronavirus cases reached over 11.6 million. Brazil had the second-highest number of confirmed cases—over 1.6 million—behind the United States, which had 2.9 million.
Over 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 related complications.