Recovered from COVID-19, Brazil President Bolsonaro says everyone will probably end up catching the new disease


Fresh off a bout of COVID-19, President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday nearly everyone will probably end up catching the new coronavirus, urging Brazilians to "face up to it" and saying there was nothing to fear.

Bolsonaro, who is just coming off three weeks in quarantine with a case of the virus, pointed to his own case as an example.

The country has the second-highest number of cases and deaths in the world: more than 2.6 million and 92,000, respectively.

The far-right leader's latest bid to downplay the pandemic came as Brazil closed in on the grim milestone of 100,000 people killed by the virus, the second-highest death toll in the world, after the United States.

Bolsonaro, who is just coming off three weeks in quarantine with a case of the virus, pointed to his own case as an example.

"I'm in the high-risk group," the 65-year-old president told journalists during a visit to the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

"I knew I was going to catch it someday, as I think unfortunately nearly everyone here is going to catch it eventually. What are you afraid of? Face up to it," he said.

"I regret the deaths. But people die every day, from lots of things. That's life."

On Thursday, in his first public event since his illness, he greeted a crowd of supporters in the northeastern state of Piaui, removing his face mask to loud cheers.

The same day, the president's office announced his wife had tested positive for the virus.

Bolsonaro later revealed he was again feeling poorly and was taking antibiotics for an infection that he called "moldy lungs" caused by inactivity during his quarantine.

BS/