Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday after months of downplaying the virus’ severity.
He said he is taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has not been proven effective against COVID-19.
The 65-year-old populist confirmed the results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters huddled close in front of him in the capital, Brasilia.
“I’m, well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” Bolsonaro said. “I thought I had it before, given my very dynamic activity. I’m president and on the combat lines. I like to be in the middle of the people.”
Brazil, the world’s sixth-biggest nation, with more than 210 million people, is one of the outbreak’s most lethal hot spots.
More than 66,800 Brazilians have died from COVID-19, and over 1.6 million have been infected.