Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro offered stern warnings against the vaccine passports being implemented in some of the country’s cities, explaining that he believes the passports will lead to “population control” on behalf of powerful interests.
Speaking in Portuguese in a translated clip posted to Twitter by Daily Veracy founder Vince James, President Jair Bolsonaro warns that governors of large Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo will issue decrees via the vaccine passport system. “Only those who are vaccinated can go to school, only those who are vaccinated can do such a thing, those who are not will not, would you issue a decree in this regard,” asked Bolsonaro to a member of his government. The man said no.
“Either we have freedom or we don’t. And the story says that anyone who gives up a part of their freedom for security, ends up without freedom and without security,” asserted Bolsonaro. He then warned that if cities accept the vaccine passport, “another requirement will come soon, and another and another, and you know where it will stop then?” Bolsonaro explained, “Population control. The people who most accused me of being a dictator are the ones who are doing it now.”
Brazil President on the vaccine passport:
"If you accept this vaccination passport, soon there will be another requirement, and another one… and you know where it will stop then… Population control!" pic.twitter.com/eVsvSgCKRj
— Vince James (@Real_VinceJames) October 1, 2021
Currently, around 250 municipalities in Brazil have imposed vaccine passports on their residents, covering around 10% of Brazil’s population, and Bolsonaro’s allies have pledged to join his fight against the passports. In Rio de Janeiro, the vaccine passport became required and was almost immediately struck down by a judge who considered it “too divisive” for the large city. This judge’s decision was reversed, and the vaccine passports are currently reinstated in the city while the issue is taken to the country’s Supreme Court, a body regularly accused of being politically polarized, with too much power held by judges holding leftist political views.
Brazilian politics have grown increasingly divided, with President Bolsonaro’s lax COVID-19 policies remaining a hotly contested issue. While some parts of the government embraced the Brazilian president’s views on COVID-19, other parts have embraced COVID-19 policies seen in Europe and Australia. Recently, this led to federal police storming a soccer match between Brazil and Argentina to detain multiple players over COVID-19 rules.
Bolsonaro recently argued against vaccine passports while at the United Nations. In defiance of United Nations policies, Bolsonaro attended the recent event in New York despite not being vaccinated himself. Having previously recovered from COVID-19, Bolsonaro offered to show proof of having COVID-19 antibodies. Bolsonaro has previously said he will be the last person to be vaccinated in Brazil.