Jair Bolsonaro remained adamant despite intense pressure to answer charges related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joined his thousands sponsors at a motorcycle rally in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, where the right-wing leader remains opposed to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Motorcyclists walked about 40km (25 miles) on the famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, before reaching Flamengo beach where Bolsonaro got off his bike and greeted the crowd.
“My soldiers will not take to the streets to force you to stay home,” the former army chief said.
“Without any scientific evidence, governors and mayors have set rules or curfews … We are ready to do whatever it takes to secure your rights,” Bolsonaro added.
The president has been widely criticized hunting methods related to coronavirus infection, such as closure, which health experts said could counteract the spread of the virus in Brazil, which has been caused by the epidemic.
In the past, Bolsonaro dismissed the virus as a “minor flu”, claiming the use of drugs. hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, and to criticize local leaders who want to impose health rules.
More than 448,000 people have died of coronavirus – the second-highest rate in the world after the United States – and more than 16 million cases have been confirmed so far, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.
But Bolsonaro goes on to say the importance of effective government measures to combat the virus – even as the Brazilian Parliament is doing research how his government is handling the epidemic.
Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew, speaking from Rio de Janeiro, said about 10,000 motorcyclists took part in Sunday’s rally, organized by a close friend of Bolsonaro.
“He wants to show that President Jair Bolsonaro still has his supporters even though the election shows. Recent research shows that Bolsonaro has been defeated in  the election of former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, ”said Yanakiew.
Lula, who served as president of Brazil from 2003 to 2011, was left out of the 2018 presidential election after being convicted of fraud.
While the left-wing leader has not said he will run in the by-elections next year, recent elections suggest he will do so with Bolsonaro.
“I ran eight miles before the start of the conversation … and I like to run 9km a day, Monday to Friday, because traveling to Brazil will be very difficult, tiring and I have to prepare my legs to fix the country’s problems,” Lula said recently. interview and The Guardian.
“I will be 77 [by next year’s election]. I think it’s old-fashioned. But I saw Biden win the 78-year-old election and said, ‘Well, I’m a kid compared to Biden so I’ll probably be fine.’ ”