- Brazil has the second highest death-toll in the world from coronavirus but Bolsonaro says ‘we’re all going to die someday’.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has said they have to fight COVID-19 and stop acting like a ‘country of fags’.
It is the latest outburst from the far-right leader who has seen over 163,000 Brazilians die from coronavirus while consistently downplaying the pandemic.
During a speech about attracting tourism, Bolsonaro used the word ‘maricas’ which can translate as ‘fags’ or ‘sissies’:
‘All anyone talks about these days is the pandemic. We need to stop that.
‘I regret the deaths. I really do. But we’re all going to die someday. There’s no use fleeing reality. We have to stop being a country of fags… We have to face up to it and fight. I hate this faggot stuff.’
The country’s coronavirus death toll is the second worst in the world after the United States.
However Bolsonaro has made a series of bizarre remarks about the virus.
He previously compared coronavirus to a ‘little flu’ and claimed Brazilians’ immune systems were so strong they could swim in raw sewage and ‘not catch a thing’. Moreover, he condemned people’s reaction to the pandemic as ‘hysteria’.
Moreover, Bolsonaro is a ‘self-declared homophobe’ who has stoked controversy with his homophobic rhetoric since being elected president in October 2018.
He famously said he would prefer to have a dead son than a gay one.
And just hours after his inauguration in January 2019, he stopped the Human Rights Ministry from dealing with concerns about the LGBT+ community in the future. He named no other federal agency to oversee this work.
In fact, Brazil has some of the best LGBT+ rights in Latin America and its big cities are home to large LGBT+ communities and often host huge Pride events.
Despite that, homophobia and transphobia remain and Brazil sees large numbers of LGBT+ murders every year.
Bolsonaro also used his speech to launch a scarcely veiled attack on US President-Elect Joe Biden.
The Brazilian leader is an ally of President Donald Trump and is one of only a few world leaders to not congratulate Biden on his election victory.
In his first debate with Trump, Biden angered Bolsonaro by calling on his administration to do more to protect the Amazon rainforest which has been devastated by widespread fires.
Now Bolsonaro said: ‘Recently, a big-shot presidential candidate said if I didn’t put out the wildfires in the Amazon he would impose trade sanctions on Brazil.
‘How do you deal with that kind of thing? Diplomacy alone doesn’t work…. You have to have gunpowder. You don’t have to use it. But they have to know you have it.’