Journalists are 'wimps'; more likely to die of coronavirus, says Brazil's Bolsonaro

WION Web Team
Brasilia, Brazil Updated: Aug 25, 2020, 08:27 AM(IST)

Jair Bolsonaro Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The right-wing leader has long had a fractious relationship with the media, frequently singling out specific newspapers and journalists for his ire.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continued his attack on journalists during a public event on Monday, describing reporters as "wimps" and saying they have a heightened chance of dying of COVID-19 because they are not athletic.

The right-wing leader has long had a fractious relationship with the media, frequently singling out specific newspapers and journalists for his ire. His followers have also attacked journalists at rallies and other public events.

Also read: Brazil President Bolsonaro threatens to punch reporter in the mouth

On Sunday, Bolsonaro told a reporter, "I want to punch you in the face," after the reporter asked about thousands of dollars that were transferred into a bank account of the president's wife by a former aide who is now the target of a corruption probe.

During the Monday event, titled "Defeating COVID-19," Bolsonaro described his own experience battling the virus in July, crediting his use of unproven drug hydroxychloroquine and his self-described history as an athlete for his mild symptoms. He has previously said he believed his athletic past made him immune to the worst of the coronavirus.

Also see: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro and his 'non-normal' antics

"That history of an athlete, the press feasted on it, but when (COVID-19) gets one of you wimps, your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower," Bolsonaro told reporters on Monday, using the Portuguese colloquial word 'bundao'.

"You only know how to do evil, to use a pen largely for evil. Your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower."

Earlier this month, local media reported that the aide, Fabricio Queiroz, deposited $12,900 in checks into Michelle Bolsonaro's account between 2011 and 2018.

Queiroz was an aide to now Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the president's eldest son, when he was a Rio de Janeiro state legislator. The former aide has been arrested in an investigation into bank deposits made at the time, amounting to $2,13,835.

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