Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was surprised by the court’s decision. According to the judge, the national leader obliged to wear his face mask at all public appearances, Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday.
President Bolsonaro appealed a court ruling Friday that requires him to wear a face mask in public during the coronavirus pandemic, calling it “unnecessary.”
In fact, the face masks have been mandatory in public in Brasilia since April. In its efforts to curb the spread of the novel pathogen, the health ministry strongly recommends the population to wear the masks.
Commenting on Friday court’s decision, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said that any interference “from the courts is unnecessary”.
The attorney general’s office, which represents the government in legal matters, said the ruling was redundant since face masks are already mandatory in Brasilia.
However, it is a regulation the far-right president has repeatedly flouted, as Judge Renato Borelli pointed out in his ruling Monday.
“The president has a constitutional obligation to follow the laws in force in the country,” the judge wrote, ordering Bolsonaro to obey the regulation or face a 2,000-real ($365) fine.
The case was brought by a lawyer who said the president should be held to account for his “irresponsible behavior.” Since the ruling, Bolsonaro has worn a mask at all public appearances.
Bolsonaro neglects the elementary personal protection
Bolsonaro regularly breaks the social distancing measures in place in the capital, giving handshakes and hugs at rallies, hosting barbecues, hitting the shooting range and going out for hotdogs, generally without a mask.
Mr Bolsonaro, president and citizen, who has famously compared the covid to a “little flu,” has railed against the measures state and local authorities are taking to fight it. He argued that the nationwide lockdown is needlessly wrecking the economy.
In fact, the Latin American nation has the second-highest corona death toll in the world, after the United States, at 55,000. Meantime, the Brazilian leader has never been fined for failing to wear a mask.