Cable news columnist Natuza Nery reported that President Jair Bolsonaro is planning on making a televised address to Brazilians on Tuesday, at 8:30 pm (Brasília time). The president will reportedly double down on his Covid-19 denialist stance — asking people to go about their business as usual.
The Brazilian leader has called Covid-19 a “sniffle” (it isn’t) and said the 2009 H1N1 pandemic was much worse, but less publicized (it wasn’t). On Tuesday, Mr. Bolsonaro distorted words from a speech by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the secretary-general of the World Health Organization. Speaking to supporters and journalists outside of the presidential residence, Mr. Bolsonaro said Dr. Tedros “practically” said informal workers “must work,” when he actually said he “understood” their reality — and held governments accountable for keeping said workers from falling into desperation and extreme poverty.
Until this weekend, two-thirds of the government’s emergency packages to cushion the blow of the coronavirus had yet to reach the targeted populations.
According to fact-checking agency Aos Fatos, Mr. Bolsonaro has made at least 70 false or misleading statements about Covid-19 over the past month.