Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro has said he will not be vaccinated against polio, with his doctor telling him that the virus is too dangerous for him.
“The doctor said, ‘I can’t give you the vaccine against polio because the vaccine can make you very ill,'” the candidate told CBS News on Thursday.
During the interview with “60 Minutes,” he urged Brazilians to refuse vaccinations for other infectious diseases.
“I don’t want my children to get the vaccination against measles or any of those diseases because the vaccine can kill,” he said.
Bolsonaro’s health focus is part of a series of anti-immigrant and anti-sexist measures that could further ignite Brazil’s long-simmering right-wing sentiment in the wake of its massive impeachment scandal.
Bolsonaro, a retired army captain who has been elected twice in his home state of Rio de Janeiro, has been criticized for his violent remarks and unconventional policies, which include openly advocating violence against his political opponents.
He has been a long-time critic of vaccination, citing past cases of people who have been covered by vaccination wearing all their clothes in public to help prevent others from catching the disease.
On Thursday, Bolsonaro declared that he would be “definitely” returning to active duty as a military officer if elected.
“This country needs change,” he said. “Now there is money in the government, because people are afraid, because they know we are fascists.”
He has previously tried to ban abortions and ordered the military to arrest prostitutes who lack proper ID or have abortions and keep the procedure secret.
He has also wanted to stop all forms of sex work in the country and accused women of having more sex to avoid paying taxes.
Despite his controversial statements, he has been leading throughout most of the pre-election polls, though the first round of voting will take place on October 7.