Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday in New York, where he accompanied President Jair Bolsonaro at the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
Queiroga did not return to Brazil with Bolsonaro’s delegation on Tuesday evening but stayed in New York to go into quarantine. The 55-year-old minister is a cardiologist and was vaccinated in March. He indicated that he was not experiencing any symptoms and that he was feeling well.
The Minister of Health is the second member of the Brazilian delegation to the UN to have tested positive for the coronavirus. On Monday, a young diplomat preceded him. As a result, he was isolated and expelled from the delegation.
Before his positive test, Queiroga had attended Bolsonaro’s meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photos and videos of that meeting show that Queiroga was the only one to wear a face mask in the Brazilian delegation.
Bolsonaro, a vaccine sceptic, ignored UN rules requiring all those present at the meeting to be vaccinated. Speaking to world leaders, Bolsonaro said his government does not support the use of vaccine passports and supports treating the virus with drugs such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. But he also said Brazil’s vaccination campaign against Covid-19 had been successful and that all adults who wanted a vaccine would have been vaccinated by November at the latest.
In New York, unvaccinated people are not allowed to eat in restaurants. Perhaps that was the reason why Bolsonaro and his entourage were spotted on the street on Sunday evening with pizza slices in hand.