Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joined a rally in the country’s capital on Sunday, where protesters called for an end to quarantine measures and some called for military intervention to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court.
Congress and the Supreme Court have supported social isolation measures imposed by governors.
The president was not wearing a mask and coughed several times when addressing the crowd of a few hundred supporters in Brasilia.
“(Everyone must) do whatever is necessary to ensure that the country has the place it deserves,” he said. “We will not negotiate anything. “
The rules in Brazil: National and local governments across the country have published mixed messages on how to behave during the pandemic. While Bolsonaro lobbied against strict restrictions, state and local governments in some of the hardest hit regions of Brazil have closed almost essential schools and businesses, firefighters and police on the streets urging people to stay the interior.
Bolsonaro sacked his health minister last week after weeks of fighting over social isolation. At a press conference to introduce his new minister, he reiterated that businesses must be reopened to ensure that the economic benefits are not worse than the virus. However, polls show that a majority of Brazilians support social isolation.
Bolsonaro supporters also organized caravans in different cities on Sunday.
The background: Brazil has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus in Latin America. The country reported 38,654 cases and 2,462 deaths on Sunday, health officials said.