President Jair Bolsonaro kept silent last weekend when Brazil reached the milestone of 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. On Monday (11), he said he lamented the loss of life, but he continued defending the need to reopen the economy.
"I regret every death that occurs, every hour. I regret it," said the president, when questioned by Folha in the late afternoon, in an interview at PalÃ¡cio da Alvorada. The president exited the car without a mask, but he then put it on, alerting the press to the gesture.
Bolsonaro had initially scheduled a barbecue with friends for Saturday, the day Brazil surpassed the 10,000 victims of Covid-19. Bolsonaro canceled the event, but the president still went for an afternoon ride on a watercraft through BrasÃlia.
The first government pronouncement came only the next day, through Health Minister Nelson Teich. The head of the health ministry said it was a day of joy, on account of Mother's Day, but of sadness on account of the lives lost.
After stating that he lamented the deaths, Bolsonaro said that in response to the pandemic, Brazil must not waste resources that can be used to fight the coronavirus.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon