Brazilian Official Tests Positive for Coronavirus After Meeting with Trump

By Victor Westerkamp

President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and several Trump family members on Saturday were in close contact with a Brazilian official who was diagnosed with coronavirus disease on Thursday.

Fabio Wajngarten, media director and press secretary of the Brazilian cabinet, was part of a delegation with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and other high-profile officials who visited President Trump’s Florida seaside resort at Mar-a-Lago on a business mission on Saturday, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Estadão de São Paolo.

In a photo, posted by Wajngarten to Instagram, one can see Vice President Pence, President Trump, and Wajngarten shoulder to shoulder smiling at the camera and holding up caps emblazoned with the logo “Make Brazil Great Again.”

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“Make Brazil Great Again” @realdonaldtrump @mikepence @alvarogarnero ????????????????????????????????????????????????

Een bericht gedeeld door Fabio Wajngarten (@fabiowajngarten) op

After an initial meeting, the two delegations had a working lunch at Mar-a-Lago, which was attended by several members of the Trump family, including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both aides to the president, as well as Pence.

In a statement provided by Bolsonaro’s office, it said it was “adopting all the necessary preventive measures to preserve the health of the president and the delegation that accompanied him on the recent official trip to the United States.” It also said it had informed U.S. officials so they could take “appropriate cautionary measures,” The New York Times reported.

The statement also said Wajngarten tested positive on two individual tests after developing flu-like symptoms.

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Handout photo provided by Agencia Brasil shows Communications Director Fabio Wajngarten in Brasilia, Brazil, on Dec. 18, 2019. (Carolina Antunes/Agencia Brasil via AP)

The White House was told about the test “so that they can adopt the necessary cautionary measures,” Brazil’s government said.

Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the White House was made aware of reports that the official tested positive after visiting Mar-a-Lago last weekend.

“Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps. Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time,” she said. “As stated before, the White House Medical Unit and the United States Secret Service has been working closely with various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First & Second Families, and all White House staff healthy.”

Trump said he is “not concerned” about the possible consequences of the interaction he had with Bolsonaro, Wajngarten, and their team. He said, “we did nothing very unusual.”

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President Donald Trump (R) and Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar talk to journalists before their meeting in the Oval Office in Washington on March 12, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned,” Trump told reporters during his meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Washington on Thursday. Trump said that he hasn’t shaken hands with Varadkar and his associates. “It’s a very strange feeling,” Trump said of this new code of conduct.

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who met with Bolsonaro this week, announced he was going into a voluntarily two-week self-quarantine out of “an abundance of caution.”