October 29, 2020

Lula apologizes after controversial statement on COVID-19

The former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva apologized this Wednesday after a controversial statement in which he assured that “thankfully” that nature had created the “monster” coronavirus to show the importance of a strong State in the resolution of this type crisis.

“If some people were offended by the phrase, I apologize that the phrase had no place in what I wanted to say,” the former president said in an interview with Radio Brasil Atual.

Lula affirmed the day before in declarations to the Carta Capital magazine that the emergence of the coronavirus was in part positive to make the government of Jair Bolsonaro, who follows a liberal economic line, see the importance of the figure of the State.

“Fortunately, nature, against the will of humanity, created that monster called coronavirus because that monster is allowing the blind to begin to see that only the State is capable of solving certain crises,” said Lula, the same day in the Which country registered 18,000 deaths and more than 270,000 infections.

“This coronavirus crisis can only be resolved by the State, as happened in the (financial) crisis of 2008,” he added.

The statement raised controversy on social networks, but the former head of state (2003-2010) has retracted this Wednesday what he has described as a “totally unfortunate” expression.

“The truth is that if instead of saying the expression ‘less bad’ I had said ‘unfortunately’ perhaps there would have been no problem,” he said.

He added that “he just wanted to show” that the State, and “only the State”, is “capable of solving serious problems that the market will never solve.”

“I am a human being who moves through the heart. I know the suffering that the pandemic causes to people, not being able to bury their relatives,” he said.

“I apologize to people for the expression ‘less bad’, it was out of place, but I cannot accept that from there they say, in bad faith, that I was celebrating the pandemic,” he said.

Lula also defended that as soon as there is no effective medicine against COVID-19, “the best solution” is “stay home”.

The coronavirus continues its exponential expansion by the South American giant, which is one of the global outbreaks of the pandemic and ranks as the third country in the world with the most cases, some 271,000 infections and nearly 18,000 deaths.

The former union leader once again harshly criticized President Jair Bolsonaro, who belittles the severity of the disease and defends the “immediate” return to normality.

“Brazil lives a moment in which it does not have a president of the Republic. He (Bolsonaro) is not ruling Brazil because he is a president who does not worry about the health crisis,” he denounced.

“He is despising everyone and offending everyone,” he added.

In the last month, two health ministers have left the government after strong disagreements with the far-right leader, doctors Luiz Henrique Mandetta and Nelson Teich.

“Bolsonaro has two options: either he has courage and governs the country or he resigns,” said Lula, who also called for the opening of a political trial for the purpose of impeachment against the president.

Lula, 74, has been isolated at his home since he returned from a tour of various European countries in mid-March.

The former president has been sentenced twice for corruption and money laundering in cases related to the deviations that occurred in the state-owned Petrobras, although he currently responds in freedom after spending 1 year and 7 months in jail.


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