Miami Mayor Tests Positive for Coronavirus After Meeting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, second from left, next to President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil in Miami this week. Credit…Zak Bennett/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The scene was jarring: The mayor of a major American city communicated with the citizenry via video on a big screen at City Hall to deliver frightening news. He was placing himself in isolation in case he had contracted the coronavirus.

By the next day, his test results were in. Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami became on Friday one of the first American elected officials to confirm he has Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Mr. Suarez, 42, was tested after having come in close contact earlier this week with a top adviser to President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil who disclosed his coronavirus diagnosis on Thursday. A delegation from the South American country had visited Florida and also met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach estate.

Mr. Bolsonaro said on Friday that he had tested negative, though people in the early stages of infection often do. The White House has said Mr. Trump does not need to be tested.

On Friday, Mr. Suarez said, “I feel completely healthy and strong” in a new video message.

He nevertheless asked anyone who had recently shaken hands with him to stay isolated for two weeks. “But you do not need to get tested,” he added.

Mr. Suarez said he would keep conducting city business remotely. The mayor became the second confirmed coronavirus case in Miami-Dade County and the 46th in the state, according to a running tally by The New York Times.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Patricia Mazzei