Bolsonaro yet again argues for reopening businesses

The president talked to passers-by on a Sunday stroll

Published in 30/03/2020 - 11:31 By Jonas Valente - Brasília

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited several neighborhoods in the Federal District on Sunday (Mar. 29). He strolled in Sobradinho, Taguatinga, and Ceilândia, the most populous areas on the outskirts of Brasília, went to supermarkets and other local businesses, and talked to a street vendor.

On his way back to the Alvorada residence, the president once again argued for reopening businesses. “Do we have the virus problem? We do. We must take good care of the elderly. But we also have the unemployment problem. Employment is essential. If Brazil stops running, many will lose their jobs,” he stated.

The president questioned protocols adopted by health authorities, saying they should not always be observed. “How many times does a doctor choose not to abide by the protocol? And why not? Because they have to make a decision. As I am a leader, I must take risks, make decisions. I can’t sit on the fence and act in a politically correct manner, or the nation will sink. I will not refrain from taking a stance,” he added.

In a press conference on Saturday (28), Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said one must worry about the economy and activities like logistics, but stressed the need to avoid gatherings and circulation as a way to prevent the virus from further spreading and hospitals from being overwhelmed.

“If we all go about our business at once, there will be no [equipment and health care] for the rich, the poor, business owners, as well as bar owners. We must be rational, not rash, and base our decisions on science and the technical aspects. Our problem is not how fatal it can be to an individual. The issue is, this virus attacks the health care system and society as a whole,” the minister pointed out.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster

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