The far-right president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, walked this Sunday through Brasilia and some of its satellite cities, and spoke with his neighbors, against health recommendations to maintain social isolation to contain the coronavirus.
The 65-year-old president left the Alvorada Palace, his official residence in Brasilia, and visited the towns of Ceilandia, Taguatinga and Sobradinho, in the metropolitan region of the Brazilian capital, by surprise, according to his social networks.
Bolsonaro’s escape, which is not on his official agenda, comes a day after his Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, reinforced the need to stay home, even for young people, and to avoid crowds to contain the pandemic .
“I decided to go for a walk and talked to informal, mobile workers. They told me that trade had fallen a lot,” the president told reporters.
“We have the problem of the virus, nobody denies it, but also the question of unemployment. Employment is essential,” he said.
In Ceilandia, the far-right leader approached the doors of a store and exchanged a few words with a woman, amid a cloud of onlookers trying to record the moment with their mobile phones.
“You have to work because if not, the country is going to fail,” a neighbor snapped at the president.
“Open the churches, for God’s sake,” asked another.
In Taguatinga, Bolsonaro spoke with an informal worker, one of the groups most affected by the quarantines adopted, to a greater or lesser extent, by the governors of the country’s 27 states, including that of Brasilia, to contain the pandemic.
“I go where the people are because I am part of the people and that is how the head of state should behave,” he justified himself, and then stressed that “he cannot fall into hysteria.”
Likewise, he said that he is “thinking” about publishing a decree that allows all those professionals, formal or informal, to work, who “sees it as necessary for the support of their children,” he added.
“If I don’t hear the people speak, how am I going to feel to be able to act?”
The president, an Army reserve captain, has harshly criticized these kinds of restrictive measures to prevent the pandemic from spreading and demanded a return to “immediate” normalcy to keep the economy afloat.
Bolsonaro also defends the reopening of schools and a quarantine only reserved for people over 60 and those with chronic diseases.
Via decree allowed lottery houses and religious temples to continue operating, although the Justice demolished the text. However, this Sunday he announced that he will appeal to this instance in higher instances.
“I have to make decisions, I cannot make decisions on the wall and act politically correct because the nation is sinking,” he said.
Brazil registered 114 deaths and almost 4,000 confirmed cases of coronaviruses until this Saturday, the state of Sao Paulo being the main focus of the pandemic in the country and where a temporary quarantine has also been decreed.
Bolsonaro came to be considered a suspected case of coronavirus after about twenty people who accompanied him during his recent trip to the United States tested positive for the disease, although, in his case and after two tests, the result was negative.
BRASILIA IS DISINFECTED TO AVOID MORE CONTACTS
In the Federal District of Brazil, until this Saturday, the health authorities had notified 260 confirmed cases of coronavirus, without any deaths.
This Sunday, soldiers of the Brazilian Army carried out an action in the Brasilia metro to disinfect platforms, stations and places of great circulation of passengers in order to contain the spread of the pandemic in the capital.