Brazil’s unvaccinated president had to eat pizza on NYC sidewalk

Brazil’s unvaccinated president Jair Bolsonaro was spotted eating pizza on a sidewalk in New York City this weekend, where tourists and residents who are unvaccinated for the coronavirus are barred from eating indoors. 

Bolsonaro, who traveled to New York ahead of the UN General Assembly, was pictured with several other members of his delegation in an Instagram post Monday by Gilson Machado Neto, Brazil’s minister for tourism. The photo was captioned “Let’s go for pizza with Coca Cola.”

The Brazilian president is the only G20 leader who has not been vaccinated for the coronavirus and has repeatedly defended his decision, citing his battle with COVID-19 last year. 

“Why take the vaccine? To have antibodies, isn’t that right? My antibody levels are way up high,” he said last week.

The UN has permitted unvaccinated delegates to attend the General Assembly, which starts on Tuesday with a speech from the Brazilian president. However, on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio slammed Bolsonaro for attending regardless. 

“We need to send a message to all the world leaders, including most notably Bolsonaro from Brazil, that if you intend to come here, you need to be vaccinated,” de Blasio said while holding his daily briefing on Monday.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and entourage.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro traveled to New York ahead of the UN General Assembly.
Stefan Jeremiah/REUTERS

“If you don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t bother coming because everyone should be safe together.”

The same day, de Blasio shared an article on Twitter about Bolsonaro’s meal on the street, sharing a link to the New York City vaccine portal and tagging the Brazilian president. 

In August, New York City mandated proof of coronavirus vaccination for people to enter certain indoor businesses including all indoor restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms. 

Jair Bolsonaro.
President Jair Bolsonaro is the only G20 leader who has not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
John Minchillo/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The program, which de Blasio dubbed the “Key to NYC Pass,” made New York the first major US city to create such a mandate.

“If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said at the time.

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