May 23, 2021 - World

Brazil's Bolsonaro hit with fine for breaking COVID rules

Handout photo released by the Brazilian Presidency of President Jair Bolsonaro greeting a crowd during a non-schedule visit to the city of Senador La Rocque, Maranhao state, Brazil, on May 21,
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greeting a crowd during a visit to the city of Senador La Rocque, Maranhao state, Brazil, on Friday. Photo: Isac Nobrega/Brazilian Presidency/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has been issued with a fine for failing to follow pandemic health regulations at a public event in Maranhao state.

Driving the news: Maranhao's leftist governor, Flávio Dino, tweeted late Friday that the far-right president would be fined "for the promotion ... of gatherings with no sanitary safeguards," noting that masks are mandatory and gatherings of over 100 people are banned in the state.

  • "The law applies to everyone," Dino said.

The big picture: Bolsonaro has repeatedly railed against COVID-19 precautionary measures, such as social distancing, masks and lockdowns despite soaring cases and deaths from the coronavirus in Brazil.

  • The country's Senate last month launched an investigation into the government's handling of the pandemic, a move that could bring political consequences for Bolsonaro.

What's next: Bolsonaro has 15 days to appeal the fine. The amount will be set after the appeal period lapses.

What they're saying: The president has yet to comment on the fine, but a maskless Bolsonaro said while while giving out rural property titles at the event in Acailandia, Maranhao, that Dino was a "chubby dictator," AFP notes.

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