Brazil

Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, according to the office of President Jair Bolsonaro, days after her husband said he had recovered from the disease.

"She is in a state of good health and will follow all established protocols," the Planalto Palace, the president's official residence, said in a brief notice to the media.

Front-line health workers and senior clerics in Brazil are adding their voices to the chorus of alarm about President Jair Bolsonaro's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With more than 87,000 deaths and 2.4 million registered infections so far, Brazil has suffered more cases than any other country except the United States.

Two government ministers in Brazil have tested positive for the coronavirus as the country – second only to the U.S. in the number of infections – surpassed 80,000 deaths from the disease.

Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, a close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, and Education Minister Milton Ribeiro announced separately their diagnoses on social media.

In a tweet, Lorenzoni said he had begun feeling COVID-19 symptoms on Thursday night and had received confirmation that he was infected on Monday.

Juan Karita / AP

Health experts call Latin America and the Caribbean the world’s new hotspot for COVID-19 infection. And the pandemic isn’t sparing the region’s leaders.

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Days after Brazil's president said he had contracted COVID-19, another South American leader, Bolivia's interim president, Jeanine Áñez, said she too had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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On this Thursday, July 9, episode of Sundial:

 

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COMMENTARY

When Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed this week he’d tested positive for COVID-19 – hardly stunning news given his reckless disregard for the pandemic – he became one of the Western Hemisphere’s 6.2 million cases and counting.

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After months of dismissing the COVID-19 pandemic as a “hoax,” Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for…the novel coronavirus. At the same time, Bolsonaro’s behavior leading up to Tuesday's news has cost him popularity even in perhaps his most loyal outpost: South Florida.

Updated at 4:54 p.m. ET

Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Brazilian president, who has consistently downplayed the dangers of the virus, revealed his positive test result during nationally televised remarks Tuesday. "It came back positive," he told reporters from behind a mask.

Matilde Campodonico / AP

Uruguay has recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in South America, if not the entire western hemisphere. The small but progressive country has done that despite sitting right next door to Brazil – which has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities behind the U.S.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

As the COVID-19 pandemic hits the developing world harder, Latin America has become its new epicenter – and a new pandemic forecast for the region is bleak.

Alex Brandon / AP

COMMENTARY

Has the State Department informed President Trump that his best Brazilian buddy was just ordered to be um banana?

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COMMENTARY

Tuesday night the Trump Administration made the surprising if not stunning announcement that, for the first time ever, the U.S. is nominating an American to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). For many if not most Latin American and Caribbean governments, the news was more jarring than hearing a gringo tourist order dinner in Spanish.

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Brazil on Tuesday reported a national record of nearly 35,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, even as the government has insisted that the outbreak is under control.

The health ministry added 34,918 new cases, but Brazilian media, in collaboration with state health departments, said the figure was probably undercounted by a few thousand. The ministry also announced 1,282 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to more than 45,000 since the pandemic began.

Matias Delacroix / AP

COMMENTARY

We’re now familiar with websites from Johns Hopkins and Worldometer that grimly tally each country’s coronavirus cases and deaths. But unless you’re a hemispheric policy dweeb, you probably haven’t checked out a web page the Wilson Center has launched that tracks COVID-19 aid from the U.S. and China to Latin America, the new pandemic epicenter.

You should – because it’s another indicator that China’s crusade to spread its influence in the Americas isn’t slowing down.

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