Bolsonaro under pressure after US travel ban

BRASILIA, Jan. 26, 2019 (Xinhua) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro attends a press conference on the collapse of a dam, at Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Jan. 25, 2019. At least seven people were killed, nine injured and at least 150 others are missing after a tailings dam collapsed Friday afternoon in southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the state government said Friday evening. (Xinhua/Ernesto Rodrigues/AGENCIA ESTADO/IANS)

Brasilia, May 28 (IANS) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced more criticisms after his US counterpart President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on non-American citizens from the South American country, as the COVID-19 pandemic situation has worsened.

With a total of 411,821 COVID-19 cases, Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of infections in the world. The virus has so far claimed 25,598 lives in the country.

The US’ move has provided Bolsonaro’s foes with new arsenals to criticize the Brazilian leader, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Even the US… has banned the entry of Brazilians,” Valmir Assuncao, a congressman from the left-wing Workers party, tweeted on Wednesday.

“Is Bolsonaro going to keep marching around with the American flag now?” Alice Portugal, a Communist party lawmaker, tweeted.

The local newspaper Estado de Minas put the headline, “The US to Brazil: Stay at your own home” on its front page, alongside an image of Bolsonaro’s supporters holding a US flag.

The US announced the travel ban on Sunday.

In the past, Bolsonaro has touted his close relationship with Trump as a proof that he was leading Brazil in the right direction, and his supporters frequently wave the US flag at rallies as well.

Despite the COVID-19 figures, Bolsonaro has continues to oppose lockdown measures imposed by the country’s state authorities.

He has termed coronavirus as “a little flu” and said its spread was inevitable.

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