Brazil’s President Bolsonaro accused of lack of sympathy for COVID-19 impacted people: sacks health minister

There have been more than 91,000 officially confirmed cases in Brazil so far but scientists warn the real figure could be 15 to 20 times higher.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro is under fire for his strategy to combat COVID-19 in the South American nation. Tagged a far-right politician, he is being criticized for his recent comment by governors, politicians, healthcare professionals and media who accused him of lack of empathy with the coronavirus infected people. AFP  says they expressed angst over his latest remark on the dreaded disease to which over 5,300 have succumbed. “So what? I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?” Bolsonaro said on Tuesday when a reporter questioned about his country passing the 5,000-death mark. He joked that even though his middle name is Messias or Messiah, “I don’t do miracles Wilson Witzel,  governor of Rio de Janeiro state, says the president’s remarks are “absolutely unacceptable. “With his state on the verge of a public health meltdown, Witzel slammed the president for “being ironic about the deaths” rather than “being a leader at such a moment. “Do your job,” he said on Twitter on Wednesday. The president of the country with  210 million citizens, is not however making a controversial statement for the first time. João Doria, governor of Sao Paulo, is cited by AFP as retorting  furiously to Bolsonaro in the capital Brasilia.”Get out of your Brasilia bubble”  urging Bolsonaro to visit hospitals “in this country which is crying for its dead and infected.” The hospitals lack ventilators and beds. The head of the doctors’ union in Sao Paulo, Eder Gatti, called on television for “a more serious attitude from the president of the republic.” Bolsonaro’s “So what?” comment has “underscored how little importance he has attached to the situation,” said political analyst Andre Pereira Cesar. If the president does not assume a wartime leadership stance against the virus he will be judged harshly by history and by voters,” he said. Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Thursday, April 16, he had been sacked by President Jair Bolsonaro, after weeks of clashes between the two over the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mandetta made the announcement on Twitter following a meeting with Bolsonaro at the presidential palace in the capital of Brasilia. Their relationship had deteriorated since the start of the virus crisis. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) encourages homosexuality and masturbation among young children. He has questioned its advice on social distancing and other anti-coronavirus measures.

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