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‘So what?:’ Brazil’s President Bolsonaro shrugs off countries rising death toll due to COVID-19

‘So what?:’ Brazil’s President Bolsonaro shrugs off countries rising death toll due to COVID-19

Saad Ali Rana

More than 5,000 Brazilians have lost their lives to the coronavirus – even more people than in China, if its official statistics are to be believed. But on Tuesday night Brazil’s president shrugged off the news. “So what?” Jair Bolsonaro told reporters when asked about the record 474 deaths that day. “I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?”

Bolsonaro’s 11-word response – the latest in a series of remarks belittling the pandemic – sparked immediate fury. One newspaper, the Estado de Minas, stamped the president’s words on to a black front page beside Brazil’s death toll: 5,017. “Bolsonaro isn’t just an awful politician and a bad president, he’s a despicable human being,” tweeted Marcelo Freixo, a leftwing opponent.

“My name’s Messiah,” Bolsonaro also told reporters on Tuesday, in reference to his second name, Messias. “But I can’t work miracles.”

His dismissive comments spark outrage

A wave of disgust swept over social media as word of the president’s comments spread. “A sociopath,” tweeted the musician Nando Moura. “What a tragedy,” wrote the journalist Sônia Bridi. “It’s a mockery. An insult. It is intolerable,” tweeted Mariliz Pereira Jorge, a scriptwriter and commentator.

Also read: BJP lawmaker fans hate by warning Indians against buying from Muslim vendors to stay safe from Covid-19


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