A day after announcing that he had tested positive for coronavirus, Jair Bolsonaro was criticized for allegedly using homophobic language to mock the use of face masks.
La Folha de São Paulo, a major fact sheet, claimed that Brazil’s far-right leader had harassed presidential personnel wearing protective masks, claiming that the team was “coisa de viado” (a homophobic insult roughly translated as ” for fairies “).
Bolsonaro is a longtime enemy of Brazil’s LGBTQ + community and for three decades in politics he has not hidden his homophobia.
“I have [parliamentary] Immunity to say yes, I am homophobic, and I am very proud of that, ”he said in a filmed interview during his seven-term stint as a congressman.
In a 2013 interview with Stephen Fry, whom the British actor later called “one of the most chilling confrontations I have ever had with a human being,” Bolsonaro alleged that “gay fundamentalists” brainwashed straight children so they could “satisfy them sexually”. the future”.
Reports of Bolsonaro’s latest homophobic comment elicited immediate criticism.
Thiago Amparo, a law professor and columnist, changed his Twitter profile to “fairy” and tweeted: “President, one day a fairy, like me and many others, will sit in the presidential chair and be an infinitely better president than he you were . “
Amparo said Bolsonaro’s “shameful” statements sent a dangerous message to Brazilian society that LGBT phobia was acceptable.
“It gives people rhetorical ammunition to perpetuate even more violence and discrimination against LGBT people,” he said.
Even if it was in a private conversation that he apparently made this comment, it is actually just a reiteration of what he has been saying throughout his political career. She has built her political career around misogynistic, LGBT, phobic and racist comments like this. “
Thiago Theodoro, a journalist who presents a podcast called E aí, ¿gay? (Hello gay!), He tweeted: “Do you know what it is for fairies, President? Be proud of who we are. Have the courage to continue. Loving, building families, surviving with dignity and happiness in our hearts, despite people like you. “
Brazil’s presidential communication secretariat said it would not comment on the report.
The Folha de São Paulo reported that despite the intensification of the coronavirus crisis in Brazil, which has caused almost 67,000 deaths and 1.6 million infections, Bolsonaro insisted on greeting visitors with a handshake and rejected masks.
Realizing such behavior puzzled the guests, Bolsonaro dismissed the contamination fears as “nonsense.”
On Tuesday, when he used a reality show-style broadcast to announce his condition, Bolsonaro compared the coronavirus to a downpour that would leave most people wet. He said: “I confess that I thought I had caught him a long time ago. I am the President of the Republic and I am on the front line. I do not shirk my responsibilities, nor do I distance myself from the people.”
Many Brazilians wish it would.
Amparo said Bolsonaro urgently needed to abide by social distancing guidelines, appoint an experienced doctor as health minister, stop fighting with mayors and governors over efforts to contain Covid-19, and present a clear plan to help Brazil escape from the health and economic crisis.
He was not optimistic. “I think politically he really believes he benefits from the chaos. Chaos is their way of governing. The problem is that more than 60,000 people have died due to this political battle. ”
Daniela Campello, professor of politics at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, said: “I think it will continue to take exactly the same line: minimizing the pandemic and trying to convey the message that this is an inevitable catastrophe and that those who are dying are people who are already they were sick and for everyone else it’s just a flu. “