- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Thursday.
- He suggested that the vaccine could result in strange side-effects, such as women growing beards and people turning into crocodiles, according to AFP.
- Bolsonaro has revealed that he does not intend to be vaccinated.
- Despite the president’s claim that Brazil is at the “tail end” of the pandemic, the country is currently experiencing a huge surge in new COVID-19 cases.
- Brazil has the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world.
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in a bizarre rant, On Thursday.
He suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine could result in people turning into crocodiles, women growing beards, and men speaking with effeminate voices, according to AFP.
Bolsonaro said: “In the Pfizer contract, it’s very clear. ‘We’re not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, that’s your problem.”
He continued: “If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they [Pfizer] won’t have anything to do with it,” he said.
Despite launching Brazil’s national vaccination rollout on Wednesday, Bolsonaro has insisted that he will not be vaccinated.
He told AFP: “Some people say I’m giving a bad example. But to the imbeciles, to the idiots that say this, I tell them I’ve already caught the virus, I have the antibodies, so why get vaccinated?”
On another occasion, he said: “I tell you; I will not take [any vaccine]. It is my right and I am sure that Congress will not create difficulties for whoever doesn’t want to take a vaccine.”
On Thursday, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that the vaccine would be obligatory but Brazilians would not be forced to receive shots.
Bolsonaro has played down the pandemic for many months. In May, he referred to the coronavirus as a “little flu.”
In July, he tested positive for the virus and came down with a fever. It took him three weeks to recover. A month later, Bolsonaro told journalists: “I knew I was going to catch it someday, as I think unfortunately nearly everyone here is going to catch it eventually. What are you afraid of? Face up to it!”
Last week, he said that Brazil was at the “tail end of the pandemic.”
Brazil is currently experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, the country set daily records for COVID-19 infections with over 70,000 new cases reported.
A day later, the country recorded more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period.
Brazil has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll, only surpassed by the US.
Over 185,000 Brazilians have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic.