Brazil's COVID-19 positive health minister flips off protesters

Brazil's COVID-19 positive health minister flips off protesters

September 22, 2021

Brazil’s fully vaccinated health minister who tested positive for COVID-19 gave protesters the middle finger as he departed UN after meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson

  • Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga was seen on video giving protesters the middle finger on Monday evening
  • The clip was taken after he met with British PM Boris Johnson and stayed at the same hotel as President Joe Biden
  • By Tuesday, Queiroga tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated
  • He is the second Brazilian diplomat attending the UN meeting to contract COVID while President Jair Bolsonaro continues to reject vaccine mandates
  • Bolsonaro has received praise and criticism for his position, with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio asking the unvaccinated politician not to come to the city 

Brazil Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga

Brazil’s Minister of Health, who tested positive for COVID-19 while attending a United Nations conference in New York City, was seen on video giving protesters the middle finger after meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and staying at the same hotel as Joe Biden. 

Brazilian journalist Raquel Krähenbühl tweeted the nine-second clip on Monday night, showing Marcelo Queiroga angrily flipping off protesters from a van as it left the UN building.

The video has already amassed over a million views as of Wednesday morning.

‘This video from the Ministry of Health showing the finger to protesters in NYC…’ Krähenbühl captioned the tweet in Portuguese.

‘Minister goes to New York, shows the protesters the middle finger, and tests positive for Covid. Sounds like a lie. But it is not’ she added in another tweet the next day. 

By Tuesday, Brazil’s presidential office had officially announced that the fully-vaccinated Queiroga had tested positive for the virus and will be quarantining in New York for two weeks.

Brazilian journalist Raquel Krähenbühl tweeted the nine second clip on Monday night, showing Marcelo Queiroga angrily flipping off protesters from a van as it left the UN building

The video has already amassed over a million views as of Wednesday morning

‘Minister goes to New York, shows the protesters the middle finger, and tests positive for Covid. Sounds like a lie. But it is not’ Krähenbühl captioned the tweet in Portuguese

Queiroga had met with Johnson on Monday, where they shook hands and stood beside each other while the British leader was not wearing a mask.  

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a staunch vaccine skeptic and previously boasted about attending the UN meeting without being vaccinated, CBS reports.

Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, also criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday after the mayor warned the president not to come to the city due to his vaccine stance, calling it a ‘textbook Marxist’ move. 

On Twitter, Queiroga wrote, ‘I communicate to everyone that today I tested positive for #Covid19. I will be quarantined in #USA , following all health safety protocols. Meanwhile, the @minsaude will remain firm in the actions to fight the pandemic in Brazil. let’s win this!’ 

Marcelo Queiroga, far right, can be spotted shaking hands with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as UK and Brazilian leaders meet to discuss the pandemic on September 21 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, left, met with Johnson, right, as the part of the United Nations General Assembly. The Brazilian president spoke out against vaccine mandates

Queiroga confirmed on Twitter that he had contracted the virus and is in quarantine

The health minister was the second member of the Brazilian delegation in New York to test positive for COVID after a diplomat who was part of President Bolsonaro’s advance team tested positive over the weekend. 

Some members of the Brazilian delegation have canceled their participation in the remaining sessions of the UN meeting to avoid possibly infection of other nation’s diplomats, Queiroga told CNN.  

Queiroga had also been staying at the same hotel as Biden, who also went on to meet with Johnson after the prime minister’s meeting with Queiroga. 

After meeting with the Brazilian delegation, Johnson meet with President Joe Biden

During the Brazilian-United Kingdom meeting, Johnson recommended the vaccine for the famously unvaccinated Bolsonaro, who continued to refuse it

Queiroga, left, was with Bolsonaro, center, in when they addressed the nation from NYC 

Brazil continues to be in spotlight during the United Nations General Assembly after Bolsonaro gave his speech on Tuesday that his approach toward COVID-19 would be proven right. 

‘History and science will hold everyone accountable,’ he told world leaders in his address.

The right-wing Brazilian leader said he supported vaccinations but promoted early treatment of COVID-19, noting that he himself underwent ‘early treatment’ following a diagnosis last summer.

‘We cannot understand why many countries, together with a large portion of the media, took a stance against early treatment measures,’ Bolsonaro said.

Bolsonaro has been in the spotlight for his defiance of NYC mask and vaccine mandates

Supports rushed out, without masks, to greet the Brazilian president on September 21

Brazil’s government has imposed 100-year secrecy on Bolsonaro’s card, making it impossible to know for sure if he’s been vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. 

He claims, however, that he did not take the vaccine and continues to defend using other medicines, including hydroxychloroquine, against the disease. 

Bolsonaro said that his government stood against vaccine mandates, such as the one he had broken to enter the United Nations. New York City requires vaccination to enter most public spaces, including convention centers.

President Biden, too, has imposed sweeping vaccine mandates that cover federal workers and those at companies with over 100 employees.

‘We support vaccination efforts, however my administration has not supported a vaccine or health passport or any other vaccine-related obligations,’ Bolsonaro said.

The Brazilian president boasted to his UK counterpart that Brazil does not support any vaccine or health passports or another vaccine-related mandate during their meeting on Monday

He noted that by November, ‘all citizens who have chosen to be vaccinated in Brazil will be duly covered.’

In a meeting Monday night with Bolsonaro, Johnson said: ‘Thanks everybody. Get AstraZeneca vaccines.’

‘I’ve had it twice.’

‘Not yet,’ the Brazilian president replied.

Bolsonaro, who has been vocal in dismissing the seriousness of the virus, tested positive in July 2020. He previously described the disease as nothing more than ‘a little flu’ and claimed his past as an athlete would make him immune to the worst symptoms. 

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro (pictured third from left) had to eat pizza outside on the street in New York City because he is unvaccinated

Protesters came out against Bolsonaro and his anti-vaccine mandate rehtoric

One sign during the September 20 protest criticized Bolsonaro’s arrival in New York

Upon landing in New York City, Bolsonaro had his first meal in the U.S. in the middle of the street due to restrictive city-wide restrictions not allowing unvaccinated people to dine indoors.

Bolsonaro and his ministers had pizza slices and sodas in the middle of the street on Sunday prior to his arrival at the UN Tuesday morning.

Pictures of the humble meal emerged on the Minister of Tourism Gilson Machado’s social media of Bolsonaro alongside Queiroga; Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres; Civil House, Luiz Eduardo Ramos; and President of Caixa Econômica Federal, Pedro Guimarães, according to Brazilian news site Correio Braziliense.

Also according to the report, Bolsonaro and his ministers, all unmasked, had to sneak in the back door of their hotel in New York City as they were met by a group of protesters with signs telling him he is not welcome.

Eduardo Bolsonaro appeared on Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night to defend his father’s unvaccinated trip to NYC

Eduardo has been vocal about anti-vaccine mandates. He’s pictured on September 7

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio snapped back at Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Eduardo Bolsonaro appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox on Tuesday night to defend his father and criticize NYC Mayor de Blasio, who said he did not want unvaccinated officials to come to New York. 

‘It shows a lot about how left-wing people are. They want to control everything. I know that is a Marxist and he follows a lot of what Antonio Gramsci says,’ said Eduardo, referring to the neo-Marxist founder of the Italian Communist Party. 

‘I have advice for the American people. Do not think that Venezuela is something far far away from you,’ he said referring to the country under socialist rule. 

‘If you told Venezuelans during the 90s [the country] would turn itself to a dictatorship, they would never take it seriously.’ 

De Blasio snapped back on Twitter, saying he did not regret his decision to force Bolsonaro to follow the city’s indoor dining policy and urged the president to get vaccinated at NYC’s many vaccination centers.  

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