Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has not backed down from his call to keep the economy ticking amid coronavirus pandemic and now visited a market to make his case. To amplify his highly controversial ‘Brazil can’t stop’ social media campaign, Bolsonaro visited a market in Taguatinga, a suburb of Brasilia, and spoke to a man selling barbecued meat on skewers.
The 65-year-old leader shared the video on his social media accounts where the man can be heard saying, “We have to work. There are deaths, but that is up to God, we cannot stop. If we do not die of the illness, we will die of hunger.”
Bolsonaro has been continuously downplaying the threat of the pandemic, emphasising on the “need” to the businesses open. Recently, he came down heavily on media for sparking “sense of dread” and “hysteria” over the novel coronavirus pandemic. In his four-and-a-half-minute televised speech, Bolsonaro criticised authorities including governors and mayors for adopting the measures suggested by the World Health Organisation like social distancing and self-quarantine.
The Brazilian President questioned the decision to close schools and imposing restriction on transport services. He said that the threat of virus will shortly pass and the life will go on, so the jobs should be maintained. "What we've seen in the world is that the risk group is people over 60 years old. So why close schools?" he asked.
Brazil has reported 4,256 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 136 deaths but the Brazilian President is of the opinion that media is creating “hysteria” around the pandemic. Bolsonaro is one of the rare leaders around the world who is against stringent measures to combat the coronavirus crisis.
On March 29, Twitter removed two social media posts of Bolsonaro in which he was apparently questioning the quarantine measures put in place to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. The micro-blogging platform removed the two videos reportedly calling it a violation of Twitter rules.
(Image source: AP)