Bolsonaro opposes social distancing as Brazil sets record 90,000 COVID-19 cases

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said he was happy that supporters have been staging anti-social distancing protests, on the same day as the country registered more than 90,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time.

The record novel coronavirus disease infections came one day after Brazil posted a separate record for deaths related to the virus, more than 2,800 in one day.

In remarks broadcast on social media, President Bolsonaro said of the protests, “They show that the people are alive … we want our freedom, we want the world to respect our constitution.”

In recent days, Bolsonaro nominated a cardiologist to become the country’s fourth health minister since the coronavirus disease pandemic started. Replacing an active-duty military general, the change came as experts worldwide criticized the spread of COVID-19 in the South American country, and as Bolsonaro downplayed the severity of the disease.

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