(Prensa Latina) The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro issued 1,682 false or misleading statements in 2020 (about five per day), according to a report by the non-governmental organization Article 19 published on its own official website.
The NGO, which has offices in nine countries and defends freedom of expression and the right to information, also denounced Bolsonaro’s attacks on the press and showed a drop in the level of freedom of expression worldwide and in Brazil, with only 52 points on a scale from zero to 100 for the latter.
The index is the lowest registered by Brazil since 2010, when it began to be calculated by the international organization. The information is part of the so-called Global Expression Report 2021, with data collected from 161 nations.
According to the report, the false or misleading statements made by Bolsonaro contributed to the increase in Covid-19 cases, which has claimed about 555 thousand lives.
‘Article 19’ also criticized the lack of transparency in the pandemic figures in some countries, including Brazil.
‘In other cases, the disinformation comes from people with relevant positions – even heads of government, such as Jair Bolsonaro – generally through personal and unofficial accounts on social networks,’ according to the report.
An excerpt from the content highlights some lines by Bolsonaro, such as calling the virus as ‘a li’l flu’, while ‘promoting anti-vaccine and anti-isolation speeches, aggravating infection rates and causing an information crisis with highly polarized speeches.’