Brazil's new president is in hospital, with pneumonia linked to a life-threatening stab wound he got on the campaign trail

Ricardo Moraes-Pool/Getty ImagesJair Bolsonaro
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro developed pneumonia in hospital while recovering from an operation related to a stab wound.
  • Bolsonaro was getting a colostomy bag removed when he started to show symptoms, according to the hospital.
  • His spokesperson told said the government will “remain strong,” and ask reporters not to exaggerate the extent of his illness
  • Bolsonaro was stabbed on the campaign trail in September 2018, and lost nearly 40% of his blood.

Brazil’s new president has contracted pneumonia while recovering in hospital from an operation related to the life-threatening stab wound he sustained on the campaign trail in September 2018.

Jair Bolsonaro developed the condition in the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo. He was recovering there from an operation last week to remove a colostomy bag that was fitted after he was stabbed.

Bolsonaro, who is 63, then developed a fever on Wednesday evening and is now being treated for pneumonia, the hospital said in a statement reported by the BBC.

Presidential spokesman Otávio do Rêgo Barros said that is was not clear whether Bolsonaro will have to stay in hospital longer because of the pneumonia.

In a video shared by Bolsonaro’s Twitter account, the spokesman told people to beware “sensationalism” around reporting of the president’s condition. He said the government will “remain strong.”


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The Brazilian presidency also shared a photograph of Bolsonaro in hospital:

Bolsonaro’s son Flávio said the presidential candidate was “almost dead” when he was brought to the hospital, the Guardian reported. Hospital officials said he lost nearly 40% of his blood, and described his injuries as life-threatening, according to the BBC.

Until he entered the hospital for the operation last week, he had been working normally, including making a long-haul trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


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The suspect in the stabbing told police that “he was on a mission from God.”

Bolsonaro was elected in October 2018 with 55% of the vote. He has been described as the “Brazilian Donald Trump” and has made controversial comments about women, minorities, and the LGBT community.

For example, he said in 2011 that he would “be incapable of loving a homosexual son” and in 2014 he said a female colleague in Brazil’s legislature was too ugly to be raped.

Since taking office, he has started to fulfil campaign promises to develop vast areas of the Amazon rainforest, threatening indigenous peoples.

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