Members of the Brazilian far-right have posted a video of famous Brazilian physician Drauzio Varella talking about Covid-19. In the video—which dates from January, when the country had no confirmed case of the disease—Dr. Varella says there was “no reason [for Brazilians to] change their routines.” Senator Flávio Bolsonaro and Environment Minister Ricardo Salles shared the video—and Twitter deleted their posts.
The move is quite extraordinary, as the social media company has resisted striking down hate speech and even flat-out misinformation. The company has kept Tesla chief operating officer Elon Musk’s Thursday tweet that “kids are essentially immune” from Covid-19, a clear-cut violation of Twitter’s new coronavirus misinformation policy.
Since the start of the outbreak, President Jair Bolsonaro has been a Covid-19 denier, calling it a media conspiracy to undermine his administration and belittling the virus’ lethality. He has also been a strong opponent of strict lockdowns in urban centers.
On Sunday, the doctor was featured on Globo’s primetime show Fantástico condemning “those who share content with bad intentions,” saying that now Brazil is under a different condition, and advising people to stay home.