Twitter deletes two Bolsonaro tweets questioning containment

Supporters of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro demonstrated on March 28 against restrictions imposed by local authorities in Rio de Janeiro because of the Covid-19 epidemic. RICARDO MORAES / REUTERS

Twitter deleted Sunday evening March 29 two tweets from the official account of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in which he questioned the containment decided to fight against the coronavirus, because he had "Break the rules" of this social network.

The Brazilian president had published three videos on his account in which he was seen notably going to meet people on the streets of Brasilia, contrary to the instructions of his own government taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. "What I got to talk to people about is that they want to work. What I said from the start is "let's be careful, people over 65 stay at home" "said the far-right head of state to a street vendor in one of the deleted videos.

Less than twenty-four hours earlier, the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, stressed the importance of containment to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has already infected 4,256 people and left 136 dead, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of health.

Two of these three videos have been deleted and Twitter has posted a note explaining its decision.

Screenshot of Jair Bolsonaro's Twitter account on March 30.
Screenshot of Jair Bolsonaro's Twitter account on March 30.

"Twitter recently announced worldwide that it is strengthening its rules to take into account content that may go against public health directives from official sources and that could increase the risk of transmission of Covid-19", Twitter said in a statement.

"Little flu"

Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the Covid-19 epidemic, which he called "Little flu", and strongly criticized the restrictive measures put in place in different states by local authorities, in particular by the governors of the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the most affected by the epidemic.

"This confinement, if it continues, with the number of (people who will find themselves unemployed), a little later, we will have a very serious problem that we will put years to solve", he said in another video. "Brazil cannot stop, if it stops, we become Venezuela", added the head of state a little later.

A Brazilian federal court banned the Bolsonaro government on Saturday from broadcasting messages that went against local containment measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The World with AFP

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