Federal Judge In Brazil Orders President Jair Bolsonaro To Wear Mask In Public

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A federal court in Brazil, in a ruling Tuesday, ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public after he attended political rallies in the capital city of Brasilia without any face covering.

Federal Judge Renato Borelli said Bolsonaro was not exempt from a federal ordinance that requires residents to wear face coverings in the capital district, including government officials. Borelli also said that Bolsonaro would be charged a $387 fine every day that he did not wear a mask, Reuters reported.

Brazil is a global hotspot for the coronavirus, with more than 1.1 million recorded cases and 51,000 recorded deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center. The country has the largest number of recorded cases and deaths in the world after the United States, and its federal government has been unable to contain the outbreak.

The rule was first introduced in late April by the governor of the capital district, Ibaneis Rocha, which required people in the capital to cover their nose and mouth in all public spaces, according to The Guardian.

Bolsonaro, however, has repeatedly appeared in public without a mask and has been filmed coughing multiple times at rallies. At one rally in Brasilia he appeared to sneeze into his hand and shake an elderly woman’s hand immediately afterwards, BBC News reported.

Media outlets in the U.S. and Brazil reported in March that Bolsonaro tested positive for the coronavirus, although he has flatly denied the claims. (RELATED: Trump Shuts Down Entry To United States For The Majority Of Individuals Traveling From Brazil Over Coronavirus Fears)

Borelli added that Bolsonaro had a duty to rectify his “disrespectful” behavior. He also cited the president’s oath of office which states that the president must “promote the wellbeing of the Brazilian people,” according to a transcript of the ruling.