Sao Paulo | President Jair Bolsonaro has said he has a “clear conscience” despite criticism of his handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has claimed nearly 100,000 lives in Brazil, and has called pro-containment governors “dictators”.
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“We have a clear conscience. With the means at our disposal, we can say that we have done everything possible to save lives, ”the far-right leader said Thursday evening, during a ceremony broadcast live on social networks.
During this ceremony, Mr. Bolsonaro signed a decree allowing exceptional expenditure for the production in Brazil of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca laboratory.
This vaccine is currently in phase III testing, the last before approval, in Brazil and other countries.
“We regret all the deaths, we will reach 100,000, but life goes on and we have to find a way out,” said the head of state a few hours later, during his weekly transmission on Facebook.
Mr. Bolsonaro has also accused the governors of certain states of inflating the figures by asking doctors to blame deaths on COVID-19 without performing an autopsy.
“I do not know what their interest is, but some governors have given these directions (to the doctors), causing panic”, insisted Mr. Bolsonaro.
The president also called “dictators” the governors and mayors who have taken containment measures, which, according to him, are the cause of the rise in unemployment, with a rate of 13.3% in the second half, the highest of the past three years.
“Almost 9 million jobs were lost in the second quarter. Some mayors and governors are responsible for it, ”he said.
Himself infected with the virus last month, Jair Bolsonaro, 65, has continued to minimize the disease he describes as “little flu”.
On Thursday, he again praised the merits of hydroxychloroquine, a controversial drug whose effectiveness against COVID-19 has never been proven.
“Let those who don’t want to prevent others from taking it. Anyway, we do not yet have a vaccine or a treatment whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven, ”he concluded, brandishing a box of hydroxychloroquine tablets.