Bolsonaro Paints A Distorted Portrait of Brazil in A UN Speech Aimed at His Radical Base

At the UN, Bolsonaro advocates early treatment for Covid-19, attacks lockdowns and says the country has no corruption

President Jair Bolsonaro used the opening speech of the 76th UN General Assembly this Tuesday to give a distorted account of the situation in Brazil—a nod to his radical base.

There was an expectation that the Brazilian leader would respond to the appeals of the moderate wing of the government and make a more diplomatic and conciliatory speech, but that did not happen. His campaign tone prevailed, punctuated by false or distorted data.

Bolsonaro said, for example, that there have been no cases of corruption in his nearly three years in office. However, several investigations involve allies and family members, including those related to the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19.

He also stated that on September 7, Brazil had the biggest demonstration in its history. Other demonstrations such as the Diretas Já campaign (1984), the June 2013 protests, and the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, among other events, brought together many more people.

He also stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil paid emergency aid of US$800, which would give R$4,260 at the current price. In some cases, this was the total amount paid but spread over months, not the money each family received per month.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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