Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro shocked even his staunchest supporters this week with an expletive-filled tirade against the COVID-19 vaccine, despite 7.1 million cases of the virus in the country and over 185,000 deaths.
"I’m not going to get [the vaccine]. Some say I’m setting a bad example. Hey a–hole, oh idiot, what are you saying about the bad example, I already had the virus, I already have antibodies. Why should I get the vaccine again?" Bolsonaro said in a speech captured by the news service UOL to a crowd in Porto Seguro. Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.
Brazil has registered two cases of reinfection and scientists are not sure how long antibodies last, according to the news site.
Bolsonaro then went on to slam American drug company Pfizer and its vaccine. The company exempted itself from liability in case of side effects of the vaccine – which Bolsonaro said rhetorically could turn someone into an alligator and they wouldn’t be liable.
"And another thing that has to be made very clear," Bolsonaro charged. "There in the Pfizer contract, it is very clear that we (Pfizer) are not responsible for any side effect. If you become an alligator, it is your problem. … And what is worse, tampering with people’s immune systems."
This article first appeared in the New York Post.