Updated Mar 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bolsonaro aide tests positive for coronavirus days after Trump meeting

Bolsonaro (L) at dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, March 7. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's press secretary tested positive for coronavirus days after taking part in meetings with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reports and multiple American outlets have confirmed.

The latest: Bolsonaro is currently being monitored, according to Brazilian media. Fabio Wajngarten, the aide, was photographed with Trump on Saturday.

  • Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that he's "not concerned" about Wajngarten's diagnosis.
  • Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both said they will enter self-quarantine after being at Mar-a-Lago with the Brazilian delegation last weekend.

A far-right populist, Bolsonaro had dismissed the alarm around the virus as a "fantasy" spread by the media as recently as Wednesday.

  • The White House said Wednesday that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."
  • According to CNN, Wajngarten was at dinner with Trump on Saturday and later attended a birthday party for Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News host who is now chair of the Trump campaign's finance committee. Several members of the Trump family attended, including the president.

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Netanyahu in self-isolation after aide tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Monday that he would enter self-isolation after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.

The latest: Netanyahu was tested for the virus on Monday, along with his wife, sons and close aides. All of those tests came back negative, his office said, but he plans to remain in isolation until he receives further instructions from the ministry of health.

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It's been a year since the last daily White House press briefing

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The last daily White House press briefing was held one year ago — on March 11, 2019, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was still President Trump's press secretary.

Why it matters: It's a significant milestone that is emblematic of the erosion of traditional norms regarding interactions between the White House and the press corps under the Trump administration.

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.