Adding his voice to the chorus of opposition to authoritarian lockdown policies is the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Outside the army headquarters in Brasilia, President Bolsonaro denounced the stay-at-home orders imposed by Brazil’s state governors as “dictatorial.” He praised those who have been protesting against these measures, calling them “patriots” who are fighting for individual rights.
Earlier this month, the New York Times called Bolsonaro “the sole major world leader continuing to question the merits of lockdown measures to fight the pandemic.” Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram went so far as to delete posts made by Bolsonaro, deeming them to be endangering public health.
“The collateral effects of the measures to fight the coronavirus cannot be cannot be worse than the actual illness,” Bolsonaro said.
It makes me feel more optimistic about humanity to know that at least one world leader is speaking out against the attitude of safety at all costs that so many governments have espoused in response to the coronavirus. Pandemic or no pandemic, individual rights matter. Thank you, President Bolsonaro, for taking this courageous stance.