September 20, 21 - 6:58 pm - LABS

Brazil’s anti-vaccine president Jair Bolsonaro may announce dose donations for poorer neighbors

According to the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, Brazilian diplomats are “pulling their strings” to convince President Jair Bolsonaro to announce a donation of vaccines against COVID-19 to poorer countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Paraguay and Haiti, during his speech at the UN General Assembly.

Since the beginning of his government, Bolsonaro has been portrayed in the international press as a leader who threatens democracy, human rights, and the environment in Brazil. Despite having questioned the effectiveness of vaccines over the past year, Bolsonaro is expected to celebrate, in front of international leaders, that the country has advanced in vaccination more than many wealthy nations and could become a “regional hub” for immunization production.

At the same time, Bolsonaro has created problems for the trip’s organizers, according to Reuters. Bolsonaro is the only G20 president not vaccinated against COVID-19 yet. The president claims that he doesn’t need to be vaccinated because he has a high antibody count — which doesn’t mean he can’t be reinfected — and talks about the possibility of being vaccinated only “after the last Brazilian gets vaccinated”.

This Monday, Bolsonaro met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who “recommended” him the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Despite the statement made to Reuters by diplomats that other meetings were being negotiated, the only one that has been confirmed is with the far-right president of Poland, Andrzej Duda.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro leaves the UK Consulate General after meeting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Alan Santos/Presidency of Brazil

However, New York City requires residents and visitors to present a vaccination certificate to frequent bars, restaurants, and shops and has tried to impose the same policy on the United Nations. The UN — which does not need to follow the city’s policy — chose to keep its “code of honor”, the confidence that the heads of state who enter the place will be fully vaccinated.