Brasilia, July 19 (efe-epa).- The president of Brazil, who is infected with the novel coronavirus, received a few hundred supporters in the gardens of the Palacio da Alvorada, his official residence, on Sunday, even coming within a few yards of them.
Before the daily flag ceremony late afternoon by the presidential guards, Bolsonaro stepped out and headed towards his supporters, who had spent several hours outside the palace in a vigil convened by evangelical leaders for the president’s health.
Separated by a two-meter (seven feet) stretch of waters, Bolsonaro went to the parts of the lawn where his supporters were gathered, many of them without a protective mask and without respecting the distancing rules established by the authorities.
He raised his arms several times in greeting as his supporters chanted his nickname ‘mito’ (the myth).
“We’re going to tackle the pandemic, we’re going to come out of it. We have an excellent team of ministers, especially of health (General Eduardo Pazuello), and it is all proceeding so that we rapidly build the future of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said in a brief statement and with his mask pulled down to speak.
The Brazilian leader said he didn’t believe that the country’s Congress will pass the law regulating fake news, which establishes harsher penalties and expands investigative power because “we will not lose our freedom of speech”.
He said relations with the legislature, which recently went through tensions, “are good.”
“Renewal (of the Congress) is natural, even for the position of president if it is the case. But you are here and carrying out democratic movements to show that your vote in 2018 will count until 2022 and if it is to change, then change it at the polls,” he said.
“There is always an alternative in case it goes wrong. But it will be very different from that of 2018. You can be sure that we will change the country with the weapons of democracy,” he added.
On Sunday, about 2,000 Bolsonaro supporters convened by evangelical movements marched in the capital, Brasilia, carrying 27 crosses, representing each state of the country, to express their solidarity with the president and to criticize the management of the Covid-19 pandemic by the governors.