Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who refused to wear a mask because they’re ‘gay’, has tested positive for COVID-19… again
Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazillian president who for months shrugged off pleas to take the novel coronavirus seriously and who refused to wear a face mask before they were “too gay”, has tested positive for COVID-19…. again.
The far-right leader tested positive for the virus on Wednesday (July 22) – some two weeks after his first test of the illness. An almost symbolic occurrence as Brazil’s coronavirus caseload continues to balloon as the second-highest in the world.
Bolsonaro, 65, repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic pelting his own people, with many critics at home and abroad drubbing his coronavirus response as reckless.
He informed CNN Brasil he had tested positive again for COVID-19. Bolsonaro said he had been working in semi-isolation from his Brasília residence since July 7 and even strolls around the presidential palace grounds, flouting social distancing by talking to supporters even after testing positive.
Jair Bolsonaro said only ‘faires’ wear face masks. More than 81,000 have died in Brazil of coronavirus.
Earlier in the crisis, Bolsonaro reportedly mocked advice to wear a face masks – telling staff members who wore them that they were “coisa de viado” – a homophobic slur which means “for fairies”.
The unverified report would not be a particular surprise from Bolsonaro, a self-described “proud homophobe” who has made his career out of crude homophobic rhetoric and targeting minorities.
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Moreover, in his cavalier efforts to downplay the virus, once said he was simply too macho to be sickened.
Bolsonaro said at the time: “In my particular case, with my history as an athlete, if I were infected with the virus, I would have no reason to worry, I would feel nothing, or it would be at most just a little flu.”
Overall, Brazil has seen more than 2.1 million sickened and 81,000 dead, according to data accurate at the time of writing. All the while, Bolsonaro has shuffled health ministers who disagreed with him, promoted unproven remedies and simply said “so what?” when asked about the country’s skyrocketing case count.
His heedless approach to the virus seemingly touches off Bolsonaro’s rampant homophobia. He has sought to extinguish the LGBT+ community throughout his administration, cementing himself as one of the world’s most anti-queer rulers.
The politician told Playboy in 2011 that he would rather his son die than be gay, saying: “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.”
During his 2018 presidential campaign, Bolsonaro said that he stood by his claim that he would punch gay people if he saw them kissing in public.
Standing by the comments, the candidate compared gay kisses to “a paedophile’s right to have sex with a two-year-old’.