(Associated Press) Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro led a throng of motorcyclist supporters through the streets of Sao Paulo on Saturday and got hit with a fine for failure to wear a mask.
Sao Paulo’s state government press office said a fine — equivalent to about $110 — would be imposed for violation of a rule that has required masks in public places since May 2020.
Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bolsonaro, who tested positivie for the coronavirus last year, also was fined for failure to wear a mask during a rally with supporters in May in the northeastern state of Maranhao.
The conservative president waved to the crowd from his motorcycle and later spoke from atop a sound truck to helmeted but largely maskless backers. They cheered and chanted while he insisted that masks were useless for those already vaccinated — an assertion disputed by most public health experts.
Vaccines are designed chiefly to protect recipients from getting sick, not necessarily from being infected. While studies show many vaccines reduce viral load and likely spread, not all varieties have been fully studied.
Less than 12% of Brazil’s population has received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Ministry of Health.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted the next planned relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England will be delayed because of the spread of the delta variant first identified in India.
At the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in southwest England, Johnson conceded Saturday that he has grown more pessimistic about allowing the removal of legal limits on social contact on June 21. He is set to make an announcement Monday about the timetable.
Government figures Saturday showed 7,738 new daily cases, slightly down from the previous day’s 8,125, which was the highest one-day figure since Feb. 26.
The government has said it wants every adult to have received at least one vaccine dose by the end of July. Around 62% of the British population has one shot so far, while about 44% has two.
The U.K. has registered nearly 128,000 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths, more than any other European nation.