March 12, 2020 / 4:34 PM / 17 days ago

Trump says 'not concerned' that he met Brazilian official with coronavirus

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was not concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus after dining last week with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and a government official who has since tested positive for the disease.

The day after announcing curbs on travel to the United States by European Union residents, Trump brushed off concerns about his possible exposure to the virus, which has sickened more than 126,000 people in a worldwide pandemic.

“Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned,” Trump told reporters while meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office.

The news comes as Trump faces perhaps the greatest crisis of his presidency, and as he seeks re-election later this year. The front-runner seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, is due to speak on the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday afternoon.

Brazilian officials on Thursday confirmed that Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, has the coronavirus and is now under quarantine at his home. Wajngarten had posted photos on social media of the meeting at Trump’s Florida resort at the weekend, showing him standing next to Trump wearing a “Make Brazil Great Again” cap. Vice President Mike Pence was next to Trump.

Reporting by Steve Holland, additional reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia, writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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