At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, the Palácio do Planalto had this Thursday (8) a face-to-face ceremony for the greeting of general officers who had been promoted in another Armed Forces event hours earlier.
The guests were wearing a mask – some even wore two. Without protective equipment, only the band’s musicians who played wind instruments – and, for a few moments, President Jair Bolsonaro.
At the ceremony, each of the 57 soldiers, some with their companions, went to the honor device to shake hands with Bolsonaro, Vice President Hamilton Mourão (PRTB), Vice First Lady Paula Mourão, Minister of Defense, Walter Braga Netto, from his wife, Kathya Maria Braga Netto, from the general of the reserve Augusto Heleno (minister of the GSI), in addition to those of the commander of each Force.
Before the first military man, a member of the Navy, Bolsonaro removed his mask to start shaking hands. At the end of the first block of greetings, the president put the mask back on, before beginning greetings to Army and Air Force officers.
This was not the first episode involving Bolsonaro’s greetings to the military during the pandemic.
On April 30 of last year, during a visit to the Southern Military Command, in Porto Alegre, Bolsonaro reached out and received a salutation with his elbows, as he had, since that time, the medical etiquette to prevent the proliferation of the new coronavirus . At the time, however, in addition to the president, the military was also without a mask.
The first to respond with an elbow at the time was General Edson Pujol, who at the time was commander of the Brazilian Army, the highest authority of the institution. Pujol was sacked last week, after switching over the entire Brazilian military summit, in what has become the biggest crisis in the Armed Forces since 1977.