Updated: July 9, 2020 4:06:46 pm
Brazil’s press association will be filling a lawsuit against President Jair Bolsonaro for potentially endangering the lives of a group of journalists by removing his face mask while they were interviewing him about his COVID-19 diagnosis a few days ago.
The country’s press association, also known as the ABI, released an official statement in which it claimed that Bolsonaro had not maintained adequate social distance during a press conference on Tuesday, where he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. While being interviewed, Bolsonaro was seen backing away from the reporters to remove his mask, in an attempt to show that he was doing fine.
— Lu Sapori🇧🇷🇧🇷 (@ALLuSapore) July 7, 2020
“Despite knowing he was infected with COVID-19, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to act in a criminal manner and endanger the lives of others,” ABI President Paulo Jeronimo de Sousa said in a statement. “The country cannot watch continued behaviour that is beyond irresponsible and constitutes clear crimes against public health, without reacting.”
According to the ABI, Bolsonaro had violated several sections of the country’s penal code, which prohibit anyone suffering from a serious illness from knowingly transmitting the disease to other people.
Soon after the press conference on Tuesday, congressman Marcelo Freixo too, announced that he was filing a lawsuit against the Brazilian president with the country’s Federal Attorney’s Office. “The president violated Articles 131 and 132 of the Penal Code by removing his mask during the interview in which he announced that he has the coronavirus,” Freixo tweeted.
Acabei de protocolar a minha representação no MPF para que Bolsonaro responda por crimes contra a saúde pública. O presidente violou os artigos 131 e 132 do Código Penal ao retirar a máscara durante a entrevista em que anunciou que está com o coronavírus.
— Marcelo Freixo (@MarceloFreixo) July 7, 2020
The reporters present at the press conference have been placed in quarantine and are in the process of being tested for COVID-19, as per reports. Several ministers who recently met with Bolsonaro have also been tested over the past few days.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines