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Mayor of Miami, Australian home minister test positive for coronavirus

By
Don Jacobson
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez poses for a photograph at the TIME 100 Next in New York City on November 14, 2019. Friday, he said he's tested positive for the coronavirus. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez poses for a photograph at the TIME 100 Next in New York City on November 14, 2019. Friday, he said he's tested positive for the coronavirus. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI | License Photo

March 13 (UPI) -- Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Friday became the latest major government officials to test positive for the coronavirus.

Suarez said he tested positive and will self-quarantine. He attended an event in Miami last weekend that included Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's press secretary -- who also tested positive for the virus this week.

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The press aide, Fabio Wajngarten, accompanied Bolsonaro on a visit to President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida last Saturday.

Suarez, 42, said in a video message he feels healthy and strong, but is concerned for those he has been in close contact with recently. He urged anyone who shook hands with him since Monday or were in his vicinity when he coughed to self-quarantine. He said, however, those people don't need to be tested.

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wajngarten had "almost no interactions" Trump or Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago, and there are no plans to test either. When asked by a reporter Thursday, Trump said he wasn't concerned about having been in contact with Wajngarten.

Earlier Friday, Dutton said he was tested after developing a fever, a common symptom of COVID-19, and a sore throat, which is a less common sign.

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"Anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice," he said in a statement. "I feel fine and will provide an update in due course."

Dutton visited Washington, D.C., for security meetings last week and had met with three Trump administration officials -- U.S. Attorney General William Barr and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway. Dutton returned to Sydney for a cabinet meeting and then to his home in Brisbane on Tuesday.

A spokesman said Prime Minister Scott Morrison doesn't plan to be tested for the coronavirus after medical officials reiterated that "only people who had close contact with [Dutton] in the preceding 24 hours before he became symptomatic need to self-isolate."

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"That does not include the prime minister or any other members of the Cabinet," the spokesman added.

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