Brazil’s far-right president and some of his government ministers have been fined for not wearing masks whilst taking part in a biker rally in Sao Paolo.
Jair Bolsonaro, three ministers, and six deputies were fined 75 euros each by Sao Paulo state authorities.
The president was also seen violating the traffic code by wearing a helmet without goggles or a visor.
Some of the banners flown by the bikers called for military intervention, which undermines democracy and the constitution, local media reported.
In a speech to some of the 12,000 bikers, Bolsonaro said the number of COVID deaths had been overestimated. He also contradicted medical advice by saying those who’ve had COVID already or who’ve been vaccinated against it don’t need to wear a mask.
Many of the helmeted but largely maskless bikers cheered and chanted as he spoke.
Less than 12 percent of Brazilians have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Ministry of Health.
Many Brazilian experts say masks can only be abandoned after the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
Bolsonaro’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the fine.
He was also fined for failure to wear a mask during a rally with supporters in May in the northeastern state of Maranhao.
Governors of that state and Sao Paulo have been feuding with Bolsonaro over their restrictive measures to stifle the spread of the coronavirus.