Updated May 13, 2020 - World

Bolsonaro fights to reopen gyms as Brazil records deadliest coronavirus day

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference at the Planalto Palace in March 20 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, in March. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday challenged state governors vowing to defy his push to reopen businesses to file lawsuits against his government as the country reported a record 881 people had died from the novel coronavirus in 24 hours.

By the numbers: The country's total death toll rose past 12,600 on Wednesday — making it the sixth worst-hit country for COVID-19 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data. Brazil has confirmed more than 178,200 infections, surpassing Germany, which has over 171,100 cases.

  • On Tuesday, the country reported a record 881 people had died from the virus in 24 hours — taking the total toll to 12,600 and making it the world’s sixth worst-hit country for COVID-19 deaths, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: With Brazil facing the threat of its worst-ever recession, Bolsonaro is pressing on with his plans to reopen gyms and beauty parlors, which he deemed in a decree to be essential services.

  • "Governors who do not agree with the decree can file lawsuits in court," he tweeted.

The other side: At least 10 governors have said they'll ignore the decree, Reuters notes.

"Bolsonaro is walking toward the precipice and wants to take all of us with him," Rio de Janeiro Gov. Wilson Witzel tweeted on Tuesday.


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