RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Protests broke out in several Brazilian cities on Wednesday night as President Jair Bolsonaro addressed the nation, just days after protesters took to the streets across the country over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, how much has happened. away killed nearly half a million people here.
The past few days have been difficult for the right-wing leader’s government, whose popularity had already waned amid deaths and persistently high daily COVID-19 cases.
On Wednesday alone, nearly 100,000 Brazilians contracted the coronavirus and 2,507 died, according to government data. Hours earlier, the nation’s Supreme Court authorized a criminal investigation against Bolsonaro’s environment minister for allegedly interfering with a police investigation into illegal logging.
In the televised address, Bolsonaro briefly summarized some of his government’s recent achievements and promised strong economic growth in the future, but did not present new information.
On Saturday, thousands of people took part in protests in at least 16 cities across the country, which were organized by left-wing political parties, unions and student associations.
In Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, thousands of people in masks blocked one of the avenues of the largest city, while a large balloon showed Bolsonaro as a vampire.
Some protests, such as the one in Rio de Janeiro, included images of former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has become Bolsonaro’s main rival in the 2022 national elections, with the presidential sash.
In his short speech Wednesday night, Bolsonaro, who has ridiculed masks and vaccines in the past, said that all Brazilians who wanted a vaccine could get it by the end of the year.
Also in the evening, the nation’s Ministry of Health revised down the number of COVID-19 vaccines it will receive in June by approximately 4 million doses.
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