Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro said that the pandemic was “coming to an end”, even if the figures indicate the opposite

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"24/03/2020 Pronunciamento do Presidente da República, Jair Bolsonaro em Rede Nacional de Rádio e Televisão" by Palácio do Planalto is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

President Jair Bolsonaro again said that the pandemic was “coming to an end”, even if the figures indicate the opposite, and questioned the “rush” for the approval of a vaccine against covid-19. The statement is similar to that of Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello, who recently suggested not understanding why there is so much “anxiety” about the immunizer.

“The rush for the vaccine is not justified, because you mess with people’s lives,” said the president during an interview conducted by his son, Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro. “There is no war, no politicisation on my part. We expect a safe vaccine. It seems that England has just started to vaccinate. Why do we have to go first?”

Brazil only presented its national plan for immunization against the coronavirus this week, and Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) has not yet received any requests from companies or laboratories for emergency use of the vaccine. Countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Israel have already started immunizing their population.

Bolsonaro also said there is interest on the part of governors in the R$20 billion (US$20 billion) released by the federal government for the purchase of the vaccine. He did not name names, but the statement was a response to Eduardo’s question that mentioned the governor of São Paulo, João Doria (PSDB), with whom the president has been fighting public clashes.

“Wait a little longer, you mess with people’s lives. Some are hungry to take it, I understand that the guy is worried, wants to get immunized. But sometimes a little bit more patience… I think prudence is important right now. Governor, we are not in a hurry to spend money, our prey is saving lives”, he said.

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