Sunday, October 17, 2021

Melania Trump: US first lady attends UN as Brazil jr president takes office

Image copyright AFP Image caption Melania Trump became the first first lady in US history to miss the UN General Assembly session

Jair Bolsonaro, who won Brazil’s presidency last month, is a vocal supporter of the right to be vaccinated.

During the election campaign he became increasingly against the practice, saying “vaccines are very dangerous”.

Melania Trump – the first first lady in US history – has made no mention of vaccinations during her four-day visit to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Ms Trump was in the city from Sunday to Tuesday at the invitation of President Donald Trump.

Visiting the United Nations in October 2017, her husband remarked: “We have other vaccines in Brazil. Believe me. Believe me.”

Mr Bolsonaro is clearly further to the right on the matter than the US president, but this does not rule out greater political convergence when it comes to the issue of vaccinations.

Both, however, have expressed reservations in favour of the policy.

Mr Bolsonaro, an evangelical who won the presidential election on 28 October, previously ran his party’s presidential campaign highlighting the issue of vaccinations.

“I find out someone shot their child – and it was an abomination. I think those vaccines are very dangerous,” he was quoted as saying during his campaign by newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.

Yet, the same report claimed that Mr Bolsonaro also played down such serious harm stemming from vaccine, saying the rates of “virus infection” were lower in other Brazilian states.

He has also said that he has received his two children vaccinated, and quoted his wife, who is also a mum, as saying that her children had been vaccinated as well.

Image copyright Alamy Image caption Jair Bolsonaro and the first lady were seen enjoying a meal together

Melania Trump, 48, who has one adult son and four young children, was born in Slovenia, but is of Hungarian origin.

She has one public pro-vaccination comment on her verified Twitter feed.

The world’s most populous country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Dr Lisa C. Fisher, a registered nurse, is a senior public health specialist at the University of Washington.

Speaking to CNN, she stated that many of the concerns over vaccine safety were unfounded.

“The science-based consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective, and you would get significant benefits from vaccinations” before and after birth, she said.

During his campaign, Mr Bolsonaro also accused Brazil’s public health system of being hijacked by foreigners, an assertion that has been vigorously refuted by academics.

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