A Brazilian government official pictured standing next to President Donald Trump as recently as five days ago has tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN reported Thursday.
The official, Fabio Wajngarten, is the press secretary for Brazilian Presdident Jair Bolsonaro, who visited the U.S. with a delegation last week. Medical experts say the coronavirus can remain dormant in infected patients for up to 14 days. The White House has not specified whether Trump has been tested for the disease.
Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary for Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, two sources tell @Cnn. Here he is posing with President Trump and VP Pence over the weekend #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/WQTHAbXCu1
— Matt Rivers (@MattRiversCNN) March 12, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence warned Thursday that Americans should expect “thousands” of additional cases before the disease blows over. (RELATED: Senate Staffer Reportedly Has Coronavirus)
Pence’s statement came after President Donald Trump gave an Oval Office address on the federal response to COVID-19, announcing near-total bans on travel from Europe as well as financial relief for impacted workers. Pence’s statement is the first time the coronavirus task force has given a numerical estimate for expected cases, previously telling Americans to simply “expect more cases.”
Pence also criticized those who have sad Trump isn’t taking the virus seriously enough. The criticism arose when various media outlets falsely claimed the president called the coronavirus a “hoax” at a campaign rally. Trump later threw fuel on the fire by comparing the virus to the seasonal flu. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trump Campaign Doubles Down On Slamming New Twitter Policy)
Trump has also faced criticism from his conservative allies, some of whom say his chaotic messaging is making it harder for his coronavirus task force to do its job.