Dani Alves critical of Brazilian president Bolsonaro’s Covid-19 denial

March 25 – Veteran full back and Sao Paulo captain Daniel Alves has criticised Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Brazil’s far-right president’s response to the global pandemic has been erratic and irresponsible. Bolsonaro has called the virus a hoax, urged his supporters to take to the streets in protests and mingled with his backers outside the presidential palace. On Tuesday, in an address to the nation, Bolsonaro seemed to have lost the plot when he claimed that  he “wouldn’t feel anything” if infected with coronavirus and he also rubbished regional efforts to combat the health crisis.

“A small number of state and municipal authorities must abandon their scorched-earth ideas: the banning of public transport, the closing of commerce and mass confinement,” said Bolsonaro.

In a long social media post, Alves said he respected Bolsonaro, but that the president “should look after the country.”

He wrote: “…there are many families and many people working to fight this pandemic and you, as the most important person in the country, should take care of our country and our people for the good It is a very difficult time for the world and for our people, we must not undo this situation, especially if we have no cure for it.”

His message was accompanied by a hashtag #stayathome.

In the past, Brazilian footballers have often expressed their support for Bolsonaro, but Brazil’s head of state has seen his support dwindle nationwide following his lacklustre handling of the coronavirus crisis. In both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, quarantined Brazilians have protested against their president by banging pots and pans with spoons.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1594028079labto1594028079ofdlr1594028079owedi1594028079sni@o1594028079fni1594028079