Fresh off a bout of Covid-19, President Jair Bolsonaro said that nearly everyone will probably end up catching the new coronavirus urging Brazilians to “face up to it” and saying there was nothing to fear. He also admitted taking antibiotics since he was suffering from “mouldy lungs”
The far-right leader's latest bid to downplay the pandemic came as Brazil closed in on the grim milestone of 100,000 people killed by the virus, the second-highest death toll in the world, after the United States.
Bolsonaro, who is just coming off three weeks in quarantine with a case of virus pointed to his own case as an example. I'm in the high-risk group, the 65-year-old president told journalists during a visit to the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
I knew I was going to catch it someday, as I think unfortunately nearly everyone here is going to catch it eventually. What are you afraid of? Face up to it, he said.
I regret the deaths. But people die every day, from lots of things. That's life.
Bolsonaro has faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic as it has surged in Brazil, the country with the second-highest number of cases and deaths in the world: more than 2.6 million and 92,000, respectively.
Bolsonaro has fought stay-at-home measures to contain it and regularly flouted social distancing hitting the streets of Brasilia to exchange handshakes and hugs with supporters.
He tested positive for the virus on July 7 after coming down with a fever, and spent three weeks in isolation at the presidential palace.
However back into his normal schedule, the president said in his weekly live broadcast on Thursday that he had felt weak and exams had revealed an infection.
“I just had a blood test, you know, I had a little weakness yesterday, they even found a little bit of infection too. I’m on antibiotics now,” he said. “After 20 days indoors, I have other problems. I have mold in my lungs.”