Brazilian Press Association to sue President Bolsonaro

Brazilian Press Association says President Jair Bolsonaro possibly exposed members of the media to COVID-19.

Elad Benari ,

Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

The Brazilian Press Association said on Wednesday it will file a lawsuit in Brazil's Supreme Court against President Jair Bolsonaro over possibly exposing members of the media to COVID-19, CNN reports.

The association, known as ABI, alleged Bolsonaro did not respect the health safety distance from reporters, and took off his mask at Tuesday's televised press conference in the capital Brasília, where he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

ABI's statement accuses Bolsonaro of endangering the lives of journalists who were present. "The country cannot watch continued behavior that is beyond irresponsible and constitutes clear crimes against public health, without reacting," said the association's president, Paulo Jeronimo de Souza.

After Tuesday´s press conference, congressman Marcelo Freixo tweeted that he filed a lawsuit against Bolsonaro with the Federal Attorney's Office. "The president violated Articles 131 and 132 of the Penal Code by removing his mask during the interview in which he announced that he has the coronavirus," Freixo said.

Bolsonaro's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Brazilian President’s announcement that he tested positive came a day after he disclosed that he had undergone another test for the virus.

Bolsonaro underwent two coronavirus tests after his communications secretary Fabio Wajngarten tested positive. Both of Bolsonaro’s tests came back negative.

After he underwent the first test, Bolsonaro denied having tested positive for coronavirus, disputing reports in local media he had tested positive.