Brazil’s Armed Forces issued a joint statement condemning the physical and verbal attacks suffered by journalists during an anti-democratic rally incited by President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia over the weekend. “Freedom of speech is a fundamental requirement of a democratic country,” said the Defense Ministry.
On Sunday, President Bolsonaro suggested he had the backing of the military commanders, while pushing back at the other branches of government. While not explicitly contradicting Mr. Bolsonaro, the Armed Forces’ statement called for unity and understanding of “all political actors” during the pandemic.
As of Tuesday, the military will train healthcare workers to join the fight against Covid-19. Training will begin with military healthcare officers, before being expanded to civilian doctors and nurses. The training will take place at the Armed Forces’ Hospital in Brasilia, as well as the Army Health School in Rio de Janeiro, the Canoas Air Force Hospital in Rio Grande do Sul, and the Belém Air Force Hospital in Pará.