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Brazilian press secretary who was near Trump Saturday tests positive for coronavirus

Posted at 11:37 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 13:37:37-04

The Brazilian president's press secretary who spent time in close proximity to President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday has tested positive for coronavirus, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is now also being tested for the virus. But Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday he "isn't concerned."

Brazilian media reported Thursday that the Brazilian president's press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for the virus, only a few days after Mr. Trump was pictured with Bolsonaro and Wajngarten at his Florida resort, as Mr. Trump hosted the Brazilian president for dinner. As of earlier this week, Mr. Trump not yet been tested for coronavirus — White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham explained that he had no need to be tested. It's unclear if the president will now be tested for the virus.

An Instagram picture posted by Wajngarten showed him, Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence together at the president's Florida resort. Mr. Trump and Bolsonaro have a strong relationship, one the president has tried to bolster.

The president has also been attempting to instill confidence in the public about his administration's response to the virus, even as health facilities still lack the number of tests they need to broadly test for the virus. Mr. Trump's prime-time address to the nation in the Oval Office did not calm markets. Stocks plunged 7% after the opening bell Thursday, so much so that trading was halted for 15 minutes.

The president's campaign is also calling off some future events, as have the campaigns for former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

"We need a little separation until such time as this goes away. It's gonna go away, it's gonna go away. I was watching Scott, I was watching Scott this morning, and he was saying within two months," Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday, likely referring to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. "But in the meantime, we want to lose as few people as possible, so important."