Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has been fined for not wearing a mask during a motorcycle rally he held in São Paulo on Saturday Jun. 12.
The maskless far-right president, defying a warning from São Paulo’s governor João Doria, waved to thousands of his supporters from his motorcycle.
Bolsonaro was fined about $100 for violating the state’s pandemic restrictions, including failing to wear a mask and social distancing.
Local authorities say some 12,000 motorcycles participated in the event. Addressing the bikers in a speech,
Bolsonaro said that Brazil’s death toll had been overestimated and that people who have already had COVID or have been vaccinated don’t need to wear a mask, Euronews reported.
Less than 12% of Brazilians have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the ministry of health, and many experts have recommended people continue wearing masks until most people are vaccinated.
Bolsonaro has faced widespread criticism for downplaying the effects of the virus and opposing lockdowns and other preventative measures that have led to the collapse of the country’s healthcare system.
People in Brazil took to the streets on May 29 in mass demonstrations to demand he step down over his failure to handle the pandemic.
The country has recorded more than 16 million coronavirus cases, the world’s-third highest, and has a death toll of almost half a million, the second highest in the world after the US.