(CNN) – In a video interview with the Gazeta Brasil website, President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the threat of the omicron variant, even hinting that it is “welcome.”
“Ómicron has spread all over the world, as the same people who really know that it has a great propagation capacity but with a very small mortality rate say,” said Bolsonaro.
He also suggested that the virus could function as a vaccine by granting herd immunity, without providing direct evidence. “They even say that this virus could act as a ‘vaccine.’ According to some serious and studious people, and not linked to the pharmaceutical companies, omicron is welcome and could, yes, signal the end of the pandemic ”.
He criticized state governors for implementing new restrictions against omicron.
“If the governors were worried about your life, as they say, they would also be worried about other diseases. Today, other diseases kill much more than covid and no one seems to be concerned about them. Health in Brazil has always been chaotic, why all this worry now? It’s because this has become a politicized disease! ”
The Brazilian president also said that vaccinating children could have side effects and emphasized that the number of children killed by covid in the country was “almost zero, a very small number” and that “this small number also included children with comorbidities.”
In the same interview, Bolsonaro reaffirmed that he was not vaccinated against covid and affirms that he is still protected by herd immunity since he previously had the virus.