Brazil’s media association said President Bolsonaro knowingly put reporters who stood disturbingly close to him at risk when he removed his face mask as he told them he has tested positive for Covid-19.
The group is set to take him to court for the “criminal” act, they announced.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a staunch coronavirus skeptic, announced to a group of journalists on Tuesday, July 7, that he has Coronavirus.
Wearing a simple white mask, Bolsonaro told reporters that his symptoms weren’t severe and “there’s no reason to fear.”
At one point, the president told them to take a few steps back and removed his mask to speak. “Just look at my face. I’m well, fine, thank God,” he said. He then put the mask on again.
Reacting to Bolsonaro’s action, ABI President Paulo Jeronimo de Sousa said on Wednesday, July 8: “Despite knowing he was infected with Covid-19, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to act in a criminal manner and endanger the lives of others.”
He added that Bolsonaro broke “the isolation recommended by the doctors” and put at risk the lives of journalists “he considers being supportive” of his policies.
According to the ABI head, the President breached Article 131 of Brazil’s Criminal Code which covers transmitting a serious disease to others or acting in a way that may cause contagion. The clause, carrying a fine or a jail sentence of up to four years, will be used in ABI’s lawsuit against the president, de Sousa said.