Closing businesses due to COVID-19 is not right, Bolsonaro says

He reiterated no debate can be held on health care without employment

Published in 12/01/2021 - 15:07 By Pedro Peduzzi - Brasília

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated today (Jan. 12) his opposition to closing all businesses due to the pandemic. During the ceremony celebrating 160 years since Caixa was founded—and the introduction of passbooks in Brazil—Bolsonaro said one cannot discuss heath care without employment, adding that life and economy “walk hand in hand.”

“I pray to God He may shine His light on governors and mayors so that they don’t close everything. Life and economy walk hand in hand. We can’t talk about health care without employment,” the president said during the ceremony, which took place at the Planalto presidential palace. According to the report released yesterday by the Health ministry, Brazil’s case tally now stands at 8.1 million, and the death toll at 203 thousand.

Addressing reporters, Bolsonaro once again advocated for freedom of expression on social media and said that freedom of press is guaranteed in his administration. “I feel sorry, however, for the closing and censorship targeting social media. They do not compete with you [press]. One stimulates the other, and freedom has no price,” he went on to note.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Nira Foster

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