Bolsonaro Draws Huge Crowds in Rio after Saying He Had Symptoms of Covid

Ex-health minister, unmasked, takes part in an act in which the president again criticizes restrictive measures to stop the pandemic

Rio de Janeiro

Three days after saying in a social medai livestream that he had symptoms of Covid-19, President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) drew huge crowds during a motorcycle ride this Sunday (23) in Rio de Janeiro. The city government estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people would participate in the event.

Without a mask, former Minister of General Health Eduardo Pazuello was also present alongside Bolsonaro on top of a sound car.

In a speech at the end of the tour, the president criticized the restrictive measures adopted to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and said that he can take “all necessary measures” to guarantee the population's freedom.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (2-R) delivers a speech in front of the World War II Brazilian Veterans monument, after leading a motorcade rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 23, 2021. - Bolsonaro led a procession of several thousand motorcycles that marched through the streets of Rio de Janeiro for a demonstration in his support, sparking numerous demonstrations amid the pandemic. (Photo by ANDRE BORGES / AFP) - AFP

Bolsonaro has threatened to implement a rule to prevent local managers from closing trade or limiting economic activity during the health crisis. He also returned to using the expression "my army," which previously caused discomfort among the military.

“My Army will take to the streets to keep you indoors [...] Our Army is you. More important than the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative Powers is the power of the Brazilian people,” he said.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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