Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday told citizens to stop “whining” over the coronavirus pandemic as the country experienced two straight days of record COVID-19 deaths.
Reuters reported that Bolsonaro, while speaking to a crowd at an event, said, “Enough fussing and whining. How much longer will the crying go on?”
“How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it anymore,” he added. “We regret the deaths, again, but we need a solution.”
The president’s comments come as Brazil has recorded the world's second-highest death toll thus far in the pandemic with more than 260,000 fatalities, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil trails just the United States, which has had more than 520,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Brazil’s Health Ministry on Thursday recorded 75,102 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, making it the most recorded in a single day since July and the second-highest on record since the pandemic started last year, according to Reuters.
Bolsonaro has attracted criticism from governors and doctors throughout the country over his handling of the pandemic, with many claiming that the president downplaying its severity and opposing widespread lockdown measures has harmed the country.
Reuters noted that the Brazilian government has been much slower compared to other countries when it comes to the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, with only 3.5 percent of the country’s population receiving a single dose thus far.
Documents reviewed by Reuters on Thursday indicated that the Brazilian government is working to secure 2 million additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by May, as well as 16.9 million of the Johnson & Johnson inoculation by September and 63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine by January 2022.
Brazilians across the country are continuing to face strict lockdown measures and other safety restrictions as cases and deaths climb.
Rio de Janeiro on Thursday announced a city-wide curfew and early closing time for restaurants, Reuters reported, and Brazil’s capital of Brasília on Sunday entered a two-week coronavirus lockdown as intensive care beds filled up in multiple cities.