BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday that he did not want to be “bored” with questions about the milestone of 600,000 COVID-19 deaths that Latin America’s biggest country passed a few days ago.
Bolsonaro’s poll numbers have fallen due to his handling of the pandemic, rising inflation and a weak economy. Brazil has the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States, and Bolsonaro has long sought to minimize the impact of the virus, touting unproven cures and railing against lockdowns.
On Monday, Bolsonaro was surrounded by supporters at the beach in Guaruja, in Sao Paulo state, when a journalist asked him about the country’s death toll.
“In which country did people not die? Tell me!” he responded. “Look, I didn’t come here to be bored.”
Currently, 601,011 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, with over 21.5 million cases total.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by David Gregorio)