BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro told an actress to “get out of here” after she criticized his response to the coronavirus pandemic in a gathering outside his official residence on Wednesday morning.
Cris Bernart told Bolsonaro that Brazil’s estimated 38,000 deaths from COVID-19 were not just statistics but families across the country who were suffering.
Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the virus as just a “little flu” and ordered state governors to loosen lockdown restrictions, told Bernart to leave, a live YouTube broadcast by a Bolsonaro supporter that was later taken down showed.
“Get out of here, you have already been heard,” the president said in the video, which has been widely shared on social media. “Get out of here.”
“You can see, you have this character speaking rubbish here,” Bolsonaro said, repeating his criticism of state governors for shutting down businesses and causing economic hardship.
Wearing a face mask, Bernart told Bolsonaro that she had backed his 2018 presidential election campaign, but accused him of betraying the Brazilian people.
Brazil has become one of the global hotspots for the coronavirus pandemic, with the third highest death toll after the United States and Britain.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)