On Wednesday (May 5), Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sparked a controversy after he insinuated that the Wuhan Coronavirus might have been developed in a laboratory in China. He suggested that China might have developed the virus as a ‘biological warfare’ tool with the objective of achieving economic gain.
The Brazilian Report quoted him as saying, “It is a new virus, nobody knows if it came about in a laboratory or in a human being (who) ingested a contaminated animal. But it is there. The military knows that it is part of chemical, bacteriological, and radiological warfare. Are we not facing a new war? Which country’s GDP has grown the most?”
VIDEO: President Jair Bolsonaro says the novel coronavirus may have been made in a laboratory to wage “biological warfare,” in the latest comments likely to strain Brazil’s relations with China pic.twitter.com/OB8te4iyev— AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 6, 2021
It must be mentioned that, unlike other countries which saw a drastic fall in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) following the pandemic, China recorded a growth of 2.3% in 2020. The country is now likely to overtake the United States in terms of total GDP in 2026.
Last month, Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes had declared that the Chinese invented the Coronavirus. He made the claim during a Supplementary Health Board meeting on April 7. He had also said that the Chinese vaccines were less effective than those manufactured by the United States. As of April 7, Brazil has reported 10 lac active Coronavirus cases and a total of 4.17 lac fatalities.
Brazilian President distances himself from his remarks
Following the controversy over his remarks, Jair Bolsonaro tried to retract his statement. In his defence, the Brazilian President said that he did not mention any Asian country in his statement. He has accused the ‘malicious media’ of trying to drive a wedge in the China-Brazil relationship.
Coronavirus vaccine can turn you into a crocodile, bearded women: Jair Bolsonaro
Last year, he had launched an attack on Coronavirus vaccines and dismissed the efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech claiming that it could turn patients into crocodiles or bearded women. Since the emergence of the pandemic, Jair Bolsonaro has been skeptical about it. He had dismissed it as “a little flu.” He had also lifted the lockdown after imposing it, saying their country is safe from the virus as the population is younger and the weather is warmer. The Brazilian President had also termed the lockdown as “hysteria”.
In a statement, Bolsonaro said, “In the Pfizer contract it’s very clear: ‘we’re not responsible for any side effects. If you turn into a crocodile, it’s your problem”. The president further added, “If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they will not have anything to do with it.”