In his third radio and television statement on the crisis of the novel coronavirus, President Jair Bolsonaro, on Tuesday (24) criticized the closure of schools and commerce to combat the epidemic, attacked governors and blamed the press for what he considers to be a climate of hysteria in the country.
The president that since the beginning of the crisis, the government has been concerned with containing "panic and hysteria." He also minimized the gravity of Covid-19 by comparing it to a "little flu" or "cold."
Parliamentarians reacted with perplexity to Bolsonaro's pronouncement. In the last few days, the government had projected a change in tone. Senate President Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) said that "when it comes to the life and health of its population, the country needs serious, responsible and committed leadership."
In his statement, Bolsonaro said that "a large part of the media went against" the government and "spread the feeling of despair, touting the large number of victims in Italy".
Bolsonaro argued that the European country has characteristics different from those of Brazil and that the scenario was "enhanced by the media so that hysteria would spread".
The president also said that "our lives must go on" and jobs must "be kept". "The livelihood of families must be preserved. We must, however, return to normality," he said.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon