2021-09-28 02:26:30 Bolsonaro’s Wife Was Vaccinated During Their Visit to New York
Bolsonaro’s Wife Was Vaccinated During Their Visit to New York
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s proudly unvaccinated president, is dealing with additional fallout from his visit to New York to speak at the United Nations last week: A fourth member of his entourage tested positive for Covid-19, so he and his wife, Michelle, decided to get vaccinated before returning home.
Pedro Duarte Guimaraes, the chief executive of Caixa Economica Federal, a major Brazilian bank, revealed on Sunday that he had tested positive, joining Brazil’s health minister, Marcelo Queiroga, Mr. Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, and a Brazilian diplomat. Mr. Queiroga, who was diagnosed during his visit, was quarantined in a New York hotel.
Mr. Guimaraes and Mr. Queiroga both claimed to be fully vaccinated. Mr. Bolsonaro, whose refusal to acknowledge the pandemic has drawn widespread criticism, has refused to be vaccinated, claiming that his own recovery from a Covid infection last year gave him immunity to a recurrence.
Mr. Bolsonaro, defying a United Nations honor system that requires proof of vaccination, was the first leader to address the General Assembly on Tuesday, when it began the annual high-level week of speeches by representatives of its 193 members.
Because of the potentially infectious Brazilians, United Nations officials notified all diplomats at the organization who may have come into contact with them. According to Stéphane Dujarric, the United Nations’ chief spokesman, as of Monday, none had tested positive.
Mrs. Bolsonaro’s vaccination, revealed by Mr. Bolsonaro on Thursday after their return home, drew more negative attention, revealing the couple’s lack of solidarity on the subject and, according to some Brazilians, a disrespect by the Brazilian first lady for her country’s own health system.
“So, what happened to my wife, who is currently in the United States?” During his weekly Facebook live chat, he said, “She came to me and asked, ‘Should I take the vaccine or not?'” “I voiced my opinion to her. I’m not going to say what I thought. I’m going to tell you what she did. She received the vaccine.”
Mr. Bolsonaro, 66, also stated, “She’s an adult, she’s 39, she knows what she’s doing, and she received the vaccine.”
The president’s office attempted to clarify the situation, stating in a statement Friday night that all members of Mr. Bolsonaro’s entourage were required to take a Covid test before boarding the plane back to Brazil. According to the statement, the doctor administering the test asked Mrs. Bolsonaro if she wanted to be vaccinated during the test.
“Because she had already planned to get a shot, she decided to accept,” it said.
The vaccine given to her was not mentioned in the statement. Senator Omar Aziz, the chairman of a parliamentary commission investigating Mr. Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, suggested she could have done a patriotic thing by getting vaccinated at home.
“I congratulate Mrs. Michelle, who, unlike her husband, was vaccinated,” he told Brazilian media, but “someone should have told her that the vaccine used in the United States is the same as the vaccine used in Brazil.” (In addition to the US-approved vaccines, Brazil has used the Coronavac and AstraZeneca vaccines.)
Mr. and Mrs. Bolsonaro both tested negative on Sunday, according to his office.
According to a New York Times database, nearly 600,000 Brazilians have died from Covid, the second-highest toll after the United States, where more than 688,000 have died, and only 41% of the Brazilian population has been fully vaccinated.
Ernesto Londoo helped with reporting.