“We’re facing the biggest challenge of our generation”, Bolsonaro says
The president made an official pronouncement on radio and TV
Published in 01/04/2020 - 10:56 By Agência Brasil - Brasília
President Jair Bolsonaro made a TV and radio pronouncement addressing the whole country on Tuesday (Mar. 31) in which he referred to the new coronavirus pandemic as “the biggest challenge of our generation.”
Bolsonaro once again stressed the need for efforts to protect jobs. “The collateral effects of the measures to combat the coronavirus must not be worse than the disease itself. My job as president goes beyond the next few months: to prepare Brazil for a resumption, to reorganize our economy, and to mobilize our resources and energy to make Brazil even stronger after the pandemic.”
The president said that measures to protect the population are being implemented in a coordinated, rational, and responsible manner. Brazil has made a number of strides in the last 15 months, he said, after he took office in January 2019, adding his concern has always been to save lives. “Both the lives we’ll lose to the pandemic and those assailed by unemployment, violence, and hunger.”
He listed employment and income preservation policies such as financial aid to states and municipalities, credit lines for companies, a monthly allowance of $120 to informal and vulnerable workers, and the inclusion of approximately 1,2 million families under the Bolsa Família cash transfer program. “We have a mission: to save lives, without leaving jobs behind. On the one hand, we mist be cautious with everyone, especially the elderly and those with previous conditions. On the other, we must tackle unemployment, which is on a sharp rise, especially among the poorest. We’ll fulfill this mission at the same time we take care of people’s health.”
Bolsonaro mentioned an address by World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom, who said Monday (30) that there are many people who have to work everyday, and that this population must be taken into account by the government.
“I mention these words not in order to deny the importance of measures to control the pandemic, but rather to show that we likewise must think of the most vulnerable ones. This has been my concern since the beginning,” the president added, referring to informal and self-employed workers.
Bolsonaro stated that the government is acquiring new beds with ventilators, individual protection equipment, test kits, and other supplies. He also mentioned a 60-day postponement in the increase of medicine prices in Brazil.
The president reiterated that the hydroxychloroquine seems efficient against the new coronavirus, adding, however, that no vaccine or medication with scientifically proven efficiency exists at the moment.
“In the last G-20 meeting, we, the heads of state and government, committed to protect lives and preserve jobs. This is what I’m going to do,” he said.
Translation: Fabrício Ferreira - Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster
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