Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro revealed this Friday that his wife was vaccinated against covid-19 in the United States and received a wave of criticism from those who considered that attitude a “contempt” for the country’s public health.
“Taking a vaccine is a personal decision. My wife (Michelle Bolsonaro), for example, decided to take it in the United States. I did not take it,” said the far-right leader in an interview published this Friday by the magazine Veja .
Although Bolsonaro did not clarify it, it is presumed that his wife applied the vaccine this week, when she was part of the official Brazilian delegation that attended the UN General Assembly and returned without the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, who remained in New York in quarantine, after testing positive for covid-19.
In his speech to the UN, Bolsonaro last Tuesday exposed his denial of covid-19, defended the use of drugs of doubtful efficacy to treat it and opposed the so-called “health passport . “
This same Friday, it was also confirmed that Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, one of the president’s five children and who also went to New York, tested positive for the virus and is being “treated” in Brasilia.
The fact that Michelle Bolsonaro was vaccinated in New York generated a wave of indignation in political circles, which was expressed mainly in a Senate commission investigating possible irregularities committed by the Government in the face of a pandemic that has killed almost 593,000 Brazilians and is not yet controlled.
“This scene of the first lady getting vaccinated in the United States is unfortunate, it devalues the health authorities, devalues a conquest of the country that is already more than 30 years old, such as the National Immunization Program,” declared Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, vice president of the commission.
“It is very sad. It is another sad page in recent national history,” added the senator, clearly alluding to the disdain with which the government and Bolsonaro in particular have treated the pandemic.
Senator Omar Aziz, chairman of the commission, commented on the case with a hint of irony.
“I congratulate Mrs. Michelle, who, unlike her husband, was vaccinated,” but “someone should have told her that the vaccine applied in the United States is the same as that applied in Brazil,” he said.
According to Asis, “he could well have been vaccinated in Brazil and show it to everyone, to set a good example. If that had been the case, we would have seen an act of real patriotism, not lip service , “ as Bolsonaro himself said.