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Brazilian leader's aide tests positive for coronavirus days after Trump visit

U.S. President Donald Trump walks at the White House with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on March 19, 2019. Bolsonaro's press secretary, who also traveled to Trump's Florida resort last weekend, has tested positive for the coronavirus. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI
U.S. President Donald Trump walks at the White House with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on March 19, 2019. Bolsonaro's press secretary, who also traveled to Trump's Florida resort last weekend, has tested positive for the coronavirus. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

March 12 (UPI) -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's press officer, who also visited U.S. President Donald Trump at his resort in South Florida last weekend, has tested positive for the coronavirus disease, Brazilian officials said Thursday.

Communications chief Fabio Wajngarten submitted himself for testing this week and the result was positive, the officials said. Wajngarten was with Bolsonaro on the trip to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., last Saturday. The Brazilian president has also been tested.

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NBC News, The Washington Post and CNN also reported Wajngarten's diagnosis.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham acknowledged the positive test result Thursday afternoon.

"Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps," she said. "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.

"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 and second families, and all White House staff healthy.

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"To reiterate CDC guidelines, there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine."

When asked about the diagnosis earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he "wasn't concerned."

Thursday, Bolsonaro canceled a trip to the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, which one official said was called off due to "health security reasons."

Coronavirus cases spiked to nearly 70 in Brazil on Wednesday, with most clustered in the heavily populated southeast. Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta warned lawmakers of an "abrupt rise" in coming cases.

During an event in Miami on Tuesday, the Brazilian president said he felt the coronavirus disease was being overblown, and said it was mainly a "fantasy" spread by news media.

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