Not wearing masks a badge of honor in Bolsonaro’s government

Public servants say they are pressured into not wearing protective masks, out of fear of being seen as "enemies of the state" by the government

masks Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro doesn't believe in using protective masks
Illustration: André Chiavassa/Shutterstock

As soon as Jair Bolsonaro was diagnosed with Covid-19, a slew of government authorities rushed to the hospital to get tested themselves. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Brazilian president has simply refused to wear a face mask, particularly when the cameras are not rolling. And he has made a question of shaking hands or hugging everyone he meets, going against the World Health Organization’s hygiene guidelines. According to Mr. Bolsonaro’s official schedule, he met with at least 57 people in the past week — 17 of them while not wearing any protective gear.

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