Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has waved off the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, insisting that life goes on. He suggested the death toll in his own country has been overstated for political purposes.
The Brazilian leader has been locking horns with many of the country’s governors, who have imposed bans on non-essential commerce and continue to accuse Bolsonaro of prioritizing the economy over the lives of his citizens.
“I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life,” Bolsonaro said in an televised interview on Friday. “You can’t stop a car factory because of traffic deaths.”
He remarked that in the state of Sao Paulo the reported fallout from Covid-19 – 1,223 cases and 68 deaths – seemed “too large.”
“We need to look at what is happening there, this cannot be a numbers game to favor political interests,” Bolsonaro said.
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Earlier on Friday, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria accused the Brazilian president of spreading “disinformation” by running television ads critical of lockdown restrictions. The campaign, which uses the slogan #BrazilCannotStop, is similar to those which were adopted in Milan before northern Italy suffered a soaring death toll from the virus.
According to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, Brazil currently has nearly 3,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 92 deaths.
Worldwide infections are nearing 600,000, with more than 27,000 fatalities. The United States now has the most infections, at almost 105,000.
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