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Judge Tells Bolsonaro to Wear a Mask or Be Fined

Brazil president's behavior 'at best disrespectful,' judge says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2020 7:38 PM CDT
Updated Jun 24, 2020 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Brazil's president is not immune from laws requiring the wearing of face masks, a judge ruled Monday, calling Jair Bolsonaro's behavior "at best disrespectful." Judge Renato Coelho Borell said that if the president does not abide by the laws of Brazil's federal district, which made mask-wearing in public mandatory in late April, he will face fines of 2,000 reals—around $388—a day, reports the Guardian. The president, who has regularly downplayed the risks of the pandemic and battled state governors over moves to stop the spread of the virus, has been seen at protests and other events in the capital, Brasilia, without a mask on.

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"A simple Google search is enough to find countless images of the defendant Jair Messias Bolsonaro moving around Brasilia and the surrounding federal district without using a mask and exposing others," the judge said, per the Wall Street Journal. The judge said it was "at best disrespectful" to go out in public without a mask, potentially endangering the health of others. "The president of the republic must take all necessary measures to avoid the transmission of COVID-19—be that in order to protect his own health or that of those around him," the judge said. Brazil has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any country except the US, with 1.1 million infections and more than 51,000 deaths. (Read more Brazil stories.)

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