Speaker lashes at President Bolsonaro

Brazilian House Speaker Rodrigo Maia
Brazilian House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

During a live broadcast on Monday morning, House Speaker Rodrigo Maia criticized President Bolsonaro’s recent statements about the novel coronavirus pandemic—saying it is a media conspiracy, and that Covid-19 will kill fewer people than H1N1.

“Mixing Covid-19 with H1N1 flu is a primary mistake,” he said.

The H1N1 influenza virus created a pandemic in 2009, reaching an estimated 11 to 21 percent of the global population at the time, with 575,000 total fatalities. In Brazil, roughly 1,500 people died of H1N1.

Concerning the government’s stuttering to present a massive rescue plan for the economy, Mr. Maia said “[Brazil has] to separate regular fiscal concerns from the Covid-19 crisis.” He added that he will discuss with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and Treasury Secretary Mansueto de Almeida about how to tackle the crisis without crippling the country’s solvency for the future. “The goal is not to compromise the country.”