MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accused the country’s lower house speaker, Rodrigo Maia, of turning governors against him and of wanting to remove the current government due to the existing differences in COVID-19 response measures.
«I regret the position taken by Rodrigo Maia, who took on the role of the executive and continues to attack the president … He should not behave this way, taking and turning all the governors against me so that under his pressure the Senate would accept his proposals. What does he want to achieve? To solve [COVID-19] problems or to criticize the president?» Bolsonaro said in an interview with the CNN Brasil news network.
According to the president, he has spoken with Maia several times, but it felt like the lower house speaker just wanted to remove him from office.
Bolsonaro has been criticized at home for ignoring the World Health Organization’s advice to limit public life. He has proposed a plan to get the nation back to work after mayors and governors unilaterally imposed quarantines.
The president added that he was against harsh quarantine measures that could lead to an economic disaster.
«By closing all enterprises, you shut down the economy, while violence, hunger, unemployment are growing. And unemployment will kill more people than the virus can kill,» the president was quoted as saying by the media outlet.
On Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court supported governors’ decisions to impose a quarantine, effectively limiting the federal authorities’ powers to lift the social distancing measures introduced in March to slow the spread of the disease.
Brazil is the worst-affected country in Latin America, with over 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 2,000 virus-related deaths.