Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro has been discharged from hospital and arrived at a residence in Orlando, Florida, CNN witnessed on Tuesday.
Bolsonaro was admitted to a hospital in Florida on Sunday due to abdominal discomfort and on Monday tweeted a photo of himself from a hospital bed as several US lawmakers called for his removal from the country following attacks by his supporters on Brazil’s seats of government.
Bolsonaro said he was receiving treatment for complications relating to an old stab wound. Earlier, his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, said in an Instagram post he was admitted to hospital for abdominal “discomfort” related to injuries from a knife attack during a political rally in 2018.
Bolsonaro’s hospitalization came after hundreds of his supporters stormed the capital Brasilia on Sunday, trashing government offices and drawing strong condemnation from the international community. As of Monday, about 1,500 people had been arrested, according to Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino.
The former leader denounced the attack in a tweet on Sunday, but experts say his repeated and unfounded claims of election fraud in the run-up to October’s election served to foment anger among his supporters. Before Sunday’s violence, they had camped out for months in the capital and security outside the congressional building had been fortified due to their presence.
Bolsonaro left Brazil for the United States on December 30, according to CNN Brasil – just two days before the inauguration of his successor, President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. Five civil servants were authorized to accompany him to Miami from January 1-30.
A number of US lawmakers have called for Bolsonaro’s extradition from the US, though it’s unclear upon what grounds he could be removed.
On Sunday, Dino said at that stage there were no legal grounds to investigate the former head of state in connection with the riots. And US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday the US government had “not yet received any requests for information or for action” in relation to Sunday’s attacks.
Price declined to confirm that Bolsonaro had entered the US on an A1 visa – which is granted to heads of state and only valid while they are in that position – but said that if such a visa holder “is no longer engaged in official business on behalf of their government, it is incumbent on that visa holder to depart the US or to request a change to another immigration status within 30 days.”
It’s not clear how long Bolsonaro intends to stay in the US.
The former leader has been hospitalized several times over the years due to the stabbing injury. The incident took place during his 2018 campaign, as Bolsonaro was led through a crowd on the shoulders of supporters in Juiz de Fora, a city in the southern state of Minas Gerais.
Bolsonaro’s son Flavio Bolsonaro tweeted at the time that his father’s wounds “reached part of his liver, lung and intestine” and that he lost a lot of blood.
In January 2019, Bolsonaro underwent surgery to remove a colostomy bag fitted after he was stabbed.
He was again hospitalized in July 2021 after feeling abdominal pain and suffering persistent hiccups for over a week.
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Michelle Bolsonaro did not specify the date of her husband's admittance to hospital.