Argentina president sends dubious message after Bolsonaro diagnosis

Argentina president sends dubious message after Bolsonaro diagnosis
Argentinian President Alberto Fernández. Photo: PR Argentina

Argentina President Alberto Fernández sent a provocative message to his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Mr. Fernández said he wishes his neighboring leader a “quick recovery” but also noted that “the virus does not distinguish rulers from the ruled.” 

With 80,434 confirmed cases and a death toll of 1,582 during the pandemic, Argentina is not the best example of how to manage the health crisis — yet, it seems like paradise when compared to Brazil. President Fernández once used Brazil’s scenario to defend his decision of putting lives ahead of the economy: “look to Brazil, which [prioritized the economy] and now has 45,000 deaths,” the Argentinian leader said that time. 

Though this has been a period with the fewest spiked comments between the two leaders — confirmed by their first shared meeting at the Mercosur conference on July 7 — they have a bad history. In 2019, when Mr. Fernández was still a candidate, President Bolsonaro said the left-wing return would turn Argentina “into a new Venezuela.” 

In response, the Peronist called Mr. Bolsonaro “homophobic, misogynist and racist.” In 2020, Foreign Affairs Ministers Felipe Solá and Ernesto Araújo met to rebuild relations.

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