Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday received a $110 fine after failing to wear a mask in Sao Paulo, the Associated Press reported.
Bolsonaro had been riding his motorcycle through the streets of Sao Paulo, where local mask ordinances remain in place. Sao Paulo has required that residents wear masks in public spaces since May 2020.
He and about 12,000 other motorcycle enthusiasts were cheering while maskless, the AP reported. While riding his bike, Bolsonaro shouted at Sao Paulo residents that masks were unnecessary if they were fully vaccinated.
“Whoever is against this proposal is because they don’t believe in science, because if they are vaccinated, there is no way the virus can be transmitted,” Bolsonaro said standing on top of a car.
This is at least the second time Bolsonaro received a fine for violating local mask ordinances. In May, officials in Maranhao fined him for going maskless at a rally.
He and local Brazilian politicians have for months butted heads over the types of restrictions to impose to protect against and stave off the coronavirus in the country.
With more than 486,000 fatalities, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death rates. The death rates have been so high that for months crematoriums have struggled to keep up.
And while individuals who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are far less likely to get it then individuals who aren’t, health officials have for months insisted that masks should still be worn. Vaccines can prevent people from getting sick but not necessarily from being infected.
Less than 12% of the Brazilian population has so far been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.