Bolsonaro promises anti-mask decree

mask bolsonaro decree
President Bolsonaro. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

During an interview this morning, President Jair Bolsonaro said he is zeroing in on a date to lift mask requirements nationwide. “I will meet with [Health Minister Marcelo] Queiroga today to find a solution for this issue,” he told a local radio station in São Paulo state. “Given the number of people vaccinated or who have contracted the virus, we will make [masks] optional.”

This is not the first time the president has pushed against mask use. In February, he warned supporters about “side effects” caused by using face coverings, holding up an unscientific online poll as scientific evidence.

During his interview, Mr. Bolsonaro also incorrectly claimed people who have previously caught the coronavirus are immune to new infections. As a matter of fact, Brazil was home to 25 percent of the world’s Covid reinfections as of mid-July, according to a Covid-19 reinfection tracker by Dutch media outlet BNO News.

More than Covid disinformation, Mr. Bolsonaro’s latest push against masks is also a way to taunt the Supreme Court, with which the president is locked in a war of words. Last year, the court granted governors and mayors powers to enact their own Covid restrictions in the absence of federal regulations.