Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro Hospitalized With Intestinal Blockage

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro may need to undergo surgery after being hospitalized with an intestinal blockage.

Alongside a photo of himself giving a thumbs up in his hospital bed, Bolsonaro tweeted he started feeling unwell on Sunday afternoon after lunch.

He said doctors have inserted a nasogastric tube after he arrived at the hospital.

"More tests will be conducted for a potential surgery on an internal obstruction in the abdominal region," Bolsonaro added.

In another tweet, he said it was the second hospitalization "with the same symptoms" since he was stabbed during a campaign event more than three years ago and had to undergo a series of emergency operations.

Television network Globo showed images of the far-right leader walking down the stairs of the presidential plane after landing in Sao Paolo around 1:30 a.m. local time on Monday. He has been vacationing in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

The Vila Nova Star hospital confirmed that he was admitted in the early hours of Monday with an intestinal blockage.

"He is in stable condition, undergoing treatment and will be re-evaluated this morning by Doctor Antonio Luiz de Vasconcellos Macedo's team," the hospital said, Reuters reported. "At the moment, there is no forecast for him being discharged."

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro looks on
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro looks on after inauguration of newly appointed Minister of Federal Supreme Tribunal Andre Luiz de Almeida Mendonça on December 16, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil. Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

The 66-year-old has experienced a series of medical issues since he was stabbed in the abdomen on the presidential campaign trail in September 2018.

At the time, Bolsonao was operated on by Macedo, whose team is overseeing his treatment in Sao Paulo. Globo reported Macedo was on vacation in the Bahamas and was awaiting a flight back to Sao Paulo on Monday.

Bolsonaro was also taken to the Vila Nova Star hospital in July last year due to an intestinal blockage. That came after he appeared to struggle with speaking on a number of occasions and said that he suffers from recurring hiccups.

"I apologize to everyone who is listening to me because I've been hiccuping for five days now," Bolsonaro said in an interview that month.

Bolsonaro, who has been in power since 2019, is preparing to run for re-election in a vote scheduled for October this year. But opinion polls show his main rival, former leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with a commanding lead.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has been heavily criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil has been one of the world's hardest-hit countries, but Bolsonaro, who contracted the virus in 2020, has long minimized the threat of the virus and has spent months sowing doubts about the vaccine and also refused to get the shot himself.