Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro renewed his attack on journalists on Monday, calling them “wimps” who are more likely to die of the coronavirus because they are not athletic, Reuters reported.

At a press conference on Monday, Bolsonaro said that he had been saved from the “worst” of the highly infectious disease because he had been athletic in the past. “That history of an athlete, the press feasted on it, but when [coronavirus] gets one of you wimps, your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower,” Bolsonaro told reporters. “You only know how to do evil, to use a pen largely for evil. Your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower.”

Bolsonaro again endorsed the effectiveness of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus treatment. “If hydroxychloroquine hadn’t been politicised, a lot more lives could have been saved,” he was quoted as saying by AFP. There has been no official confirmation on the effectiveness of the drug against Covid-19.

On Sunday, Bolsonaro had threatened to punch a reporter for asking questions about corruption allegations against his wife Michelle Bolsonaro. “I so want to pound your mouth with punches,” the president told the reporter from O Globo, according to an audio clip released by the daily. Bolsonaro, however, ignored protests from other journalists after his remarks.

The Brazilian president had tested positive for the coronavirus in July. He has been criticised by health experts for showing complete disregard for physical distancing norms by attending rallies and meeting groups of supporters, often without wearing a protective mask. A top judge in Brazil had to order Bolsonaro to wear a mask in June.

Brazil is the world’s second-worst coronavirus-hit country in the world. It has reported more than 36 lakh cases and over 1.15 lakh deaths so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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