In what can only be described as a bizarre attack on Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro told his supporters the vaccine could turn someone into an alligator and the company wouldn’t be liable.
Bolsonaro said this despite 7.1 million cases of the virus in his country and over 185,000 deaths.
“I’m not going to get [the vaccine]. Some say I’m setting a bad example. Hey a-hole, oh idiot, what are you saying about the bad example, I already had the virus, I already have antibodies. Why should I get the vaccine again?” Bolsonaro said in a speech captured by the news service UOL to a crowd in Porto Seguro. Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.
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!”
The drug company Pfizer, exempted itself from liability in case of side effects of the vaccine – which Bolsonaro said rhetorically could turn someone into an alligator and they wouldn’t be liable.
“And another thing that has to be made very clear,” Bolsonaro charged. “There in the Pfizer contract, it is very clear that we (Pfizer) are not responsible for any side effect. If you become an alligator, it is your problem. … And what is worse, tampering with people’s immune systems.”
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.
However, according to the Brazilian Constitution, it is not up to the president to define whether a vaccine will be mandatory or not, but the Ministry of Health.