Award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald recently cited reporting from Brazilian journalist Bernardo Mello Franco, who claimed that Brazil‘s president, Jair Bolsonaro, was admitted to the hospital on Friday. Bolsonaro, whose brother had previously told Fox News the president had tested positive for coronavirus before walking the statement back, has continued to flaunt social distancing recommendations amid the pandemic.
According to Greenwald, Bolsonaro was pressed by reporters on the nature of his hospital trip, to which Bolsonaro claimed he went “to get ice cream.” After further pressing, Bolsonaro said he went “to have a pregnancy test.”
Human Rights Watch claims that Bolsonaro is putting Brazilians in “grave danger” by advising them to ignore social distancing recommendations.
José Miguel Vivanco, America’s director at Human Rights Watch, claims that Bolsonaro is intentionally harming the efforts of his country’s own Health Ministry and their attempts to curb COVID-19 infections.
“To avoid preventable deaths from this pandemic, leaders should ensure that people have access to accurate, evidence-based information essential to protecting their health. President Bolsonaro is doing everything but that.”
According to Bolsonaro, those who are not “older” should not follow social distancing guidelines.
As of Saturday, Brazil has 20,727 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,124 deaths. Just one day earlier, the country’s cases were at 18,397 confirmed cases and 974 deaths.
Brazil President Bolsonaro visits a pharmacy without wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/Coaatf7qe3
— The Hill (@thehill) April 10, 2020
Despite the spread of the virus, Bolsonaro appears to be adamant in pushing back against efforts to contain it. On March 20, Bolsonaro attempted to take away state authority to restrict the population’s movement to combat the pandemic, which the Supreme Court ultimately shot down.
Per The Atlantic, Bolsonaro met with U.S. President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago early in March. In the three weeks following the meeting, more that 20 members of Bolsonaro’s U.S delegation tested positive for the virus.
As the report notes, Bolsonaro continued to flaunt health recommendations after the interaction.
“Bolsonaro ignored his own health ministry’s advice to self-isolate for a couple of weeks and to discourage large gatherings. He made a defiant show of shaking hands and taking selfies at a rally that attracted hundreds of his supporters.”
Paulo Sotero, an expert on Brazil at the Wilson Center, claims that Brazil could be sitting on a “time bomb” and said Bolsonaro was a “bomb thrower” as opposed to the “bomb defuser” the country needs.
Despite Bolsonaro denying ever testing positive for coronavirus, early reports suggested otherwise. As The Inquisitr previously reported, local media in Brazil claimed that Bolsonaro tested positive for the disease — stories that were initially corroborated by his brother, Eduardo Bolsonaro.