A consortium of Brazilian journalists under the umbrella body (Brazilian Press Association) is suing President Jair Bolsonaro for exposing them to Covid-19 infection after he removed his mask near them during a televised press conference to announce he has test positive to the virus.
The association accuses Bolsonaro of endangering the lives of journalists who were present.
“The country cannot watch continued behaviour that is beyond irresponsible and constitutes clear crimes against public health, without reacting,” said the association’s president, Paulo Jeronimo de Souza.
After Tuesday´s press conference, congressman Marcelo Freixo tweeted that he filed a lawsuit against Bolsonaro with the Federal Attorney’s Office. “The president violated Articles 131 and 132 of the Penal Code by removing his mask during the interview in which he announced that he has the coronavirus,” Freixo said.
Bolsonaro’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
In light of Bolsonaro’s diagnosis, ministers who recently had contact with the president have also been tested for Covid-19 over the past two days. Secretary of Government Luiz Eduardo Ramos, Regional Development Minister Rogério Marinho and Chief of Staff Braga Netto tested negative, according to the offices of each minister.
Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, Defense Minister General Fernando Azevedo, and General Secretary of Government Jorge Oliveira, were also tested for the virus and are awaiting their results, according to their offices.