Bolsonaro again criticizes measures against Covid and says “war is not politics”

President Jair Bolsonaro again criticized this Saturday the restriction measures imposed by governors to contain the spread of the coronavirus at a time when Brazil is facing its worst moment of the pandemic, and said that the side effect of combating Covid-19 cannot be worse than the disease itself.



Bolsonaro at Planalto Palace in Brasilia 3/31/2021 REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino

Photo: Reuters

Although Brazil has become the new epicenter of the pandemic in the world, with more than 3,000 deaths per day on average for the past seven days, Bolsonaro has stood firm against social isolation measures, which are recommended by health authorities to contain the circulation of the virus.

The president has fought a fierce dispute with governors who imposed the closure of economic activities through the collapse of their health systems, and even filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Federal Court (STF) against heads of state executives.

“More and more, with more unemployment, the politics of closing everything and staying at home, more people are eating less, some are in very serious need, and we have to win this. The war on my part is not political, it is the war that it has to do with the future of a nation. We must not forget the issue of employment “, said Bolsonaro in a video broadcast on social networks during a visit to a charitable association in the vicinity of Brasilia that offers meals to people in need.

The president was accompanied by the new defense minister, Walter Braga Netto, who left the Civil House to take over the defense this week as part of a ministerial reform in which Bolsonaro moved in charge of six ministries. Both were without a mask.

“The lockdown policy has a very serious, very damaging side effect, which is unemployment,” added Bolsonaro in an interview with reporters on the way back to Palácio da Alvorada. “The side effect cannot be more damaging than the virus itself.”

The president also announced that the Ministry of Defense will make the Armed Forces available to the Ministry of Health to support the immunization campaign against Covid-19. However, the biggest obstacle to vaccination has not been the lack of personnel, but the shortage of immunizers, since Brazil was slow to close contracts with suppliers.

Throughout the pandemic, which has killed more than 328,000 people in Brazil, Bolsonaro has said several times that he would not be vaccinated against Covid-19, but recently changed his speech and admitted the possibility of being vaccinated. This Saturday, he again stated that he can take the immunizer.

“I am already immunized with the virus. If they thought I should vaccinate, I vaccinate, without any problem. But I think this vaccine of mine has to be given to someone who has not yet contracted the virus and is at a much greater risk than I am. It’s not a problem for me to go to a health center and get vaccinated now that I’ve reached my age, ”he said.

Bolsonaro, 66, could be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Brasília as of Saturday, when the federal capital started to immunize his age group. On Thursday, the president said he would decide whether or not to receive the Covid vaccine after “the last Brazilian has been vaccinated”.

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