Brazilian coronavirus skeptic President Bolsonaro must wear a mask or face fines

A Brazilian judge ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public after the right-wing populist attended political demonstrations without covering his face, according to a court decision released Tuesday.

Federal Judge Renato Borelli said Bolsonaro is subject to a 2,000-real ($ 387) fine per day if he continues to disobey a federal district ordinance aimed at curbing the COVID-19 outbreak.

The decision comes days after the South American nation exceeded one million cases of coronavirus.

The World Health Organization reported the largest one-day increase in cases globally on Sunday and Brazil is among the nations facing a recent increase in coronavirus cases, along with the United States and Germany.

Medical professionals in Brazil who have been struggling to treat the exponential increase in patients with COVID-19 for months, despite the country’s already fragile healthcare system, have widely criticized Bolsonaro for his public skepticism of directives on social distancing , quarantine and coronavirus pandemic. body count.

In early March, Bolsonaro dismissed the spread of the coronavirus as a media “fantasy”, and weeks later described it as “influenzazinha,” the Portuguese word for mild flu. Weeks later, Facebook and Twitter removed one of their posts promoting an unproven antiviral for the coronavirus. It has also consistently downplayed the severity of the virus and has explicitly criticized the measures implemented by the vast majority of Brazil’s 26 state governors and its own federal health service.

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Reuters contributed