Brazil‘s President Jair Bolsonaro took his denial stance to the opening speech of the 76th UN General Assembly — a stance not different from the speech in April this year. After citing the privatization program, private investments contracted in the country, and expectations around the auction of 5G frequencies, scheduled for later this year, Bolsonaro defended the so-called early treatment (set of drugs without proven efficacy) against COVID-19 and criticized the isolation measures during the pandemic, pointing to them as the reason for the current escalation of inflation.
“I defended fighting the virus and unemployment simultaneously and with the same responsibility,” Bolsonaro said, just before saying that the isolation measures left the current escalation of inflation in the country as a legacy. Then Bolsonaro defended early treatment, noting that he doesn’t understand “why many countries were against it” and that history will demand that stance from them.
The president, the only leader of the G20 who was not vaccinated, once again defended non-mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and stressed that his government is against the imposition of any type of health passport – a different posture from several Latin American neighbors, such as Peru, which have already announced that they will require vaccines from travelers.
Before going deeper into the pandemic theme, Bolsonaro highlighted the complexity of the country’s environmental legislation, saying it is an example to the world, and cited a series of data that seek to reinforce that the country maintains more than 80% of the Amazon biome is intact and that deforestation has decreased — which is far from true — and that the “future of green jobs” is in Brazil.
The president was challenged in near real-time by a number of social media experts — the term “shame” hit Twitter’s trending topics right after the speech. According to Imazon, deforestation of the forest hit, for the fifth consecutive month, another record in August, a 7% increase compared to the same month last year.
The expectation, raised by sources heard by the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, that the country would announce vaccine donations to poorer nations in Latin America and the Caribbean during the speech was not confirmed.