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  • Bolsonaro will have to face a mask in public or pay a dayli fine

    Bolsonaro will have to face a mask in public or pay a dayli fine | Photo: AFP

Published 23 June 2020
Opinion

At the start of the pandemic, Bolsonaro dismissed the COVID-19 as "a little cold" on national television and has appeared in public on several occasions without a mask

A Brazilian federal judge Tuesday ordered Brazil´s President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask whenever he is outdoor in Brasilia, as dictated by local regulations.

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Judge Renato Coelho Borelli said in his ruling that Bolsonaro “has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused a national commotion.”

At the start of the pandemic, Bolsonaro dismissed the COVID-19 as "a little cold" on national television and has appeared in public on several occasions without a mask, particularly in the federal district Brazilia where the use of masks has been compulsory since April 30.

The right-wing populist joined throngs of people protesting against Brazil's Congress and Supreme Court and he has visited bakeries and outdoor food stalls, drawing crowds around him.

Bolsonaro also has been filmed coughing without covering his mouth and on another occasion, he was seen sneezing into his hand and shaking the hand of an elderly woman immediately afterward.

On May 21 a video of Bolsonaro eating a hot dog and drinking a Coke outside his secretary general's home went viral, as area residents rejected him by banging on pots and called him a murderer, trash, and fascist. The day before the country had recorded 20,000 deaths.

According to the order, Bolsonaro will have to face a mask in public or pay a BRL 2000 ($388,109) daily fine. All federal civil servants also have to abide by the rule otherwise the government will pay BRL 20,000 ($3881,39) per day.

On Monday Brazil became the second country, after the U.S., to register more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19 and the country has already reached one million infections.

However, Bolsonaro's stance on the crisis is that the state governors have been reckless in introducing quarantine measures and the collateral damage to the economy will be worse than the effects of the virus itself.

During an interview with AgroMais channel today, Brazil's President branded the World Health Organization´s handling of the pandemic as "a bit of an exaggeration" and urged governors and mayors to "start opening up trade".

 
 
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