Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro led a group of supporters on motorcycles through the streets of Sao Paulo on Saturday and was fined for not wearing a mask, which is an infraction based on local restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The conservative president greeted the crowd from his motorcycle and then from the top of a loudspeaker truck, where supporters in helmets, but few with masks, cheered and chanted as Bolsonaro insisted that the masks were useless for those already vaccinated – a disputed claim. by most public health experts.
The press office of the state government of Sao Paulo indicated that a fine, equivalent to about $ 110 dollars, will be imposed for violating a rule in force since May 2020 that requires the use of masks in public spaces.
Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The motorcyclist caravan left and re-entered the city, ending up in Ibirapuera Park where the president got on a vehicle to defend his opposition to the use of masks among those vaccinated.
“Whoever is against this proposal is because they do not believe in science, because if they are vaccinated there is no way for the virus to be transmitted,” he said.
Vaccines are designed primarily to protect recipients from getting sick, not necessarily from getting infected. Although studies show that many vaccines reduce viral load and probably spread, not all varieties have been fully studied.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States indicate that, “the risk of contagion of SARS-CoV-2 in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is a continuous community transmission of the virus.”
Flight reservations have been on the rise since February, when more Americans were vaccinated against COVID-19, and since restrictions began to be eased.
So far, less than 12% of the Brazilian population has received both doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Ministry of Health, and many Brazilian experts warn that they can only stop wearing masks when the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
Bolsonaro was also fined for not wearing a mask during an event with his supporters in May in Maranhao, a state in the northeast of the country. Governors of that state and Sao Paulo continue to dispute with Bolsonaro over his restrictive measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.