The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Saturday he is in “perfect health” two days after being hospitalized for a high-blood-pressure attack that forced him to cancel his trip to the Davos Global Economic Forum in Switzerland where he was to receive the Global Statesman Award.
Lula, 64, said he is eager to get back to work and ready for the grind of the upcoming presidential campaign, in which he will try to get a hand-chosen successor, his chief of staff Dilma Rousseff, elected. He returned to the Brazilian capital, Brasília, after relaxing for a few days at his home in São Bernardo do Campo, in the greater São Paulo.
“I’m ready to get back in the game,” the president told reporters outside the Heart Institute InCor in São Paulo where doctors gave him a checkup and conducted medical tests. “I’m going to continue traveling, obviously, because, thank God, I’m in perfect health.”
Dr. Roberto Kalil Filho, Silva’s cardiologist, said he was pleased with the results of Saturday’s tests but that he cautioned the president to exercise more and get more rest.
Silva was aboard his jet in Recife, northeastern Brazil late Wednesday, preparing to head to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when his personal physician ordered him to not make the trip and go to a hospital because his blood pressure had spiked.
Doctors blamed a heavy travel load, a bout of the flu that had not cleared up properly, and holding events in Brazil’s summer heat for Silva’s spike in blood pressure. The president does not normally suffer from hypertension.
“I was worried,” Silva said, then added, “Every time I go for a checkup, I’m worried. You can think that your problem is high blood pressure, and before you know it you find the problem is with a toenail! I’m always nervous when I have a checkup.”
“We have to continue traveling throughout Brazil. There’s plenty to do this year and we cannot let the ball drop. If one loses heart, everyone else loses heart too,” said the president, who was wearing a green and yellow coat. “I am now ready to enter the field,” he said.
Asked about the accumulation of commitments from the presidency and the so-called pre-campaign to elect Rousseff, Lula said, “The eye of the boss fattens the pig and if the boss is not looking for things to happen they won’t happen.” “If the president does not stay on top, reminding, traveling, things are more difficult,” he concluded.