Mr Bolsonaro has been portrayed as fighting for his life wearing a ventilator mask after persistently down-playing the threat of the coronavirus. Coronavirus is only now being realised in South America, with several early warning signs currently materialising.
The continent as a whole has over 20,000 confirmed cases, and by Sunday 5 April, Brazil had reported more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 486 deaths.
Now, AleXsandro Palombo, renowned for his thought-provoking works, has stripped Mr Bolsonaro of his rhetoric, leaving him looking ill and frail.
Talking to Express.co.uk, Mr Palombo explained how Mr Bolsonaro’s lack of action had inspired him to paint a picture of what could happen should the president not fulfil his moral and political duties.
He said: “My work is a form of protest against blind politics.
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro “Stay Home, Nobody is Immune from Coronavirus” – “Fiquem em casa, Ninguém é imune ao Coronavírus” – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says coronavirus is a ‘little flu’ He added that most people had nothing to fear and said Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus is so high because of the nation’s aging population. Italy is a city, a country full of old people. There is at least one couple in every building, like in Copacabana, and that’s why there are so many deaths “. – Do not listen to President Bolsonaro’s despicable statements because it will endanger each of you and the people close to you.This is not a flu. Nobody is immune from Coronavirus. – In Italy, we are paying a very high price. This is an unprecedent situation and it is breaking the hearts of all of us. Many have lost loved ones and have family and friends struggling in intensive care. This serious health emergency is global. It involves everyone and spares no country. This is a huge battle that we must all fight together. Stay at home and follow the rules of social distancing, you will protect yourself and your loved ones. Life is the most precious thing we have, let’s defend it. – aleXsandro Palombo – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #bolsonaro #fiquememcasa #coronavirus #covid #coronavirusitaly #coronavirusespaña #stayhome #Yomequedoencasa #iorestoacasa #coronavirusbrazil #coronaviruspandemic #coronavirüsü #coronavirusoutbreak⚠️ #coronavirusitalianews #covid_19 #covid19italia #covid19 #lbolsonaropresidente #restezchezvous #restezalamaison #health #pandemic #pandemia #humanrights #epidemic #Campaign #campaña #Contemporaryart #instaart #brazil
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“President Bolsonaro has made a bad propaganda by denying the dangerousness of the Coronavirus and this way has promoted a crazy message of omnipotence.
“Life is not his personal fairy tale and I wanted to bring him back to reality.”
Mr Bolsonaro previously called the coronavirus “just a little flu” and attempted to calm fears over the situation in Italy – which has witnessed over 15,000 deaths from the virus – by saying the country had such a high death toll because of its ageing population.
On this, Mr Palombo said: “It was for me an urgency to send a strong and direct message to people and help them to be conscious that the Coronavirus is not ‘just a flu’ and can affect and kill anyone.
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“The idea came to my mind because a dear friend of mine was fighting for his life in a hospital bed – he died on Friday night.”
In Brazil, Mr Bolsonaro has consistently brandished the media which provides news of the virus as “fear-mongering” and attempted to dilute the seriousness of the issue despite an abundance of evidence that suggests it is the biggest health crisis the world has faced in recent times.
Mr Palombo says the examples of Italy and China is a clear sign of what happens to nations which do not take the virus entirely serious to begin with.
He said: “Unfortunately many preventive measures have been taken too late.
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“In many cases, the sense of omnipotence and power prevailed together with political, economic and commercial interests, the race to productivity at all costs instead of worrying about protecting citizens’ life.”
This chimes with Mr Bolsonaro’s rhetoric in a public address at the end of March in which he described restrictions on public transport, social-distancing measures, and closures of businesses and schools as “scorched-earth” policies.
He conceded that people over 60-years-old were at risk, both most people, including himself, had nothing to fear – Mr Bolsonaro is 65-years-old.
The president continued: “With my history as an athlete, if I were infected with the virus I would have no reason to worry.
“I would feel nothing, or it would be at most just a little flu.”
Mr Palumbo is less optimistic in his view of the virus and subsequent actions carried out by Mr Bolsonaro, explaining: “Nothing will be the same again because this historic health emergency will change everything from a political, social and cultural point of view.
“It is an important test case for the future of good and bad politics.
“Life and health are inestimable, and so is the planet, and they must all be placed at the centre of our priorities.”
Meanwhile, further to the virus crisis working its way through South America is the danger it poses to indigenous populations, especially those in the Amazon region and elsewhere in Brazil.
Respiratory illnesses, like the flu, are already the main cause of death for native communities.
The first case among indigenous peoples was recorded in Amazonas state, leading researchers to fear for those communities.
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