Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro asked people to “face” the novel coronavirus, saying “people die every day” and nearly everyone will eventually catch the disease. Bolsonaro had tested positive for COVID-19 and spent three weeks in isolation in the presidential palace after repeatedly downplaying the seriousness of the deadly infection.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Rio Grande do Sul, the Brazilian leader said he’s in the high-risk group and he knew he was going to contract the disease someday. Bolsonaro added that though his regret deaths, “people die every day from lots of things. That's life.”
The coronavirus situation in Brazil remains grim as the infection has claimed over 92,000 lives so far, the second-highest in the world. The Latin American nation has reported over 2.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with no respite visible in near-future as the Brazilian President continues to play down the pandemic.
A coalition of health professionals in Brazil has denounced Bolsonaro for his handling of the virus outbreak, accusing of committing "crimes against humanity" in a judicial complaint to the International Court of Justice. They accused the far-right leader of neglect and contempt by promoting large gatherings, medication like hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19 without any scientific proof, and venturing into public without a mask.
The complaint to the ICJ, The Hague, was signed by Brazilian Union Network UNISaúde, a coalition that represents more than a million health workers in Brazil, and supported by unions and international entities. During the early phase of the virus outbreak, the Brazilian leader termed it as “little flu” and refused to impose strict lockdowns across the country to contain the spread.
Marcio Monzane, regional secretary of UNI Americas, had said in a statement that the government should be blamed for “its callous action in the face of the pandemic and for refusing to protect Brazil's health workers as well as the population, which he promised to defend when he became president."