Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro read on a live broadcast on social networks Thursday a letter from a man who committed suicide. Bolsonaro did so to justify his rejection of lockdown measures adopted by regional governments to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the farewell letter he left to his mother, the man alleged that he decided to take his own life because, as a vendor in a public market, he is unable to support his family due to the social distancing measures imposed by the governor’s office of the region where he lives.
After reading the letter, the head of state insisted that the collateral effects of the confinements are being more harmful than the effects of the pandemic itself, since they are causing unemployment and an increase in problems such as depression, suicide, marital quarrels, and child abuse inside the home.
“I’m tired of so much humiliation in the market. I’m doing this because I can’t pay my debts, because of the governor and the mayor. They decreed the closure of everything and I am not managing to sell anything,” states the text read by Bolsonaro, who affirmed the letter was sent to him by the man’s mother from Bahia, a state governed by an opposition party which has decreed a curfew as well as other social distancing measures.
“The collateral effect of the fight against the virus is being more harmful than the remedy itself, and closing everything is not a remedy,” he said.
He added that, as well as the governors, he is concerned about saving the lives of Brazilians, but asked them to keep in mind that leaving a person without a salary and without a job can also lead to hunger, death and chaos.
“We have a new wave of confinements. Some 20 governors (of Brazil’s 27 states) decided to take measures together to try to curb the virus. But we have a year of lockdown and the virus remains. With the confinements there is a drop in the number of employees and unemployment generates depression,” he alleged.
Bolsonaro added that some media have already started to publish news about the increase in suicides, child abuse, family conflicts, physical aggressions and abandonment as a consequence of the pandemic.
Bolsonaro warns of unemployment
“We regret each and every death, but we know that life and economy, and that health and economy, go together. We cannot create a huge mass of unemployed in Brazil because, in that way, we will not be able to do anything against the pandemic. The direct side effect of confinement is unemployment,” he said.
“Hungry people lose their minds. I am foreseeing a serious problem in Brazil. I am not saying what it is because they will say that I am stimulating violence, but we will have serious problems ahead”, he assured.
He stated that it is in difficult moments, like the current one, that both, families and the nation as a whole, should unite, and complained that the more they attack him for his management facing COVID-19, the more they weaken the one person who has the conditions to solve the problem.
“To solve the situation I have to have support. I cannot solve it using my pen to sign decrees because I would be a dictator. My army is the people, and I owe absolute loyalty to the people. That is my mission, but it becomes difficult if we attack each other and become disunited,” he affirmed.
He also said that he is the only authority capable of guaranteeing freedom to Brazilians because everyone else, especially leftist leaders, would order the closure of all activities in the country, as the government of Argentina has done.
“In the name of science they ask you to rot at home. I am the guarantee of freedom and democracy. They use the virus to humiliate you, to try to break the economy. The governors blame me for unemployment, but the stay-at-home policy is not mine,” he expressed.