Coronavirus

President’s food shortage claims debunked by press

bolsonaro social media debunked shortage

Early on Wednesday, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted a video condemning isolation measures carried out by state governors — and “denouncing” a food shortage in supply centers in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Brazil’s second-most populous state of Minas Gerais. In the video, a man says the lack of food is “the fault of governors, because the president wants responsible isolation.”

The information, however, was quickly debunked by reporter Pedro Bohnenberger, of radio station CBN. He went to the said food distribution center and showed the facility operating under normal conditions — and that there was no shortage whatsoever.

Social media didn’t forgive Mr. Bolsonaro. In Brazil, April Fool’s Day is also known as “the day of the lie” — and many were quick to point out the coincidence. Fact-checking agency Aos Fatos, a partner organization of The Brazilian Report, found at least 70 false or misleading Covid-19 statements by the president between early March and last weekend. But the list is growing longer.