'Freedom': Bolsonaro cuts birthday cake while taking a dig at COVID-19 restrictions

WION Web Team
BrazilUpdated: Mar 22, 2021, 08:04 AM IST
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Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had gathered in front of the Alvorada Palace in Brasília for his 66th birthday with no physical distancing with many in the crowd reportedly maskless.

As Brazil faces a deadly wave of the coronavirus, President Jair Bolsonaro took a birthday swipe at the COVID-19 restrictions telling people that he would fight for their "freedom".


"You can count on the armed forces for democracy and freedom. They're (referring to governors and mayors imposing tight restrictions) stretching the rope (idiom in portuguese meaning "reaching the limit"). I'll do anything for my people. This "anything" it's what is in our constitution, our democracy and our freedom of movement," The Brazilian president said.

Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had gathered in front of the Alvorada Palace in Brasília for his 66th birthday with no physical distancing with many in the crowd reportedly maskless.

Supporters sang happy birthday and cheered for the president as he stood with first lady Michelle Bolsonaro behind a table with a birthday cake.

Bolsonaro then used his impromptu speech to renew his attacks on stay-at-home measures ordered by mayors and governors. He claimed that the leaders are worried their health systems are approaching collapse.

Bolsonaro argued that the economic damage caused by lockdowns is worse than the virus itself even as the Brazilian president continues to come under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday marked the second deadliest day for Brazil since the pandemic began as daily record of 90,570 new cases were reported in 24 hours.

The federal government has been slow to roll out vaccinations in the country with some local governments needing to halt immunisations at various points due to lack of supplies.

Brazil is the second worst-hit country due to the pandemic after the United States with over 11.9 million cases and 294,000 fatalities.