Former left-wing president hits out at President Jair Bolsonaro, saying the nation is not going to stand up to COVID if ‘he continues to manipulate’.

Brazil’s greater than 300,000 deaths from COVID-19 quantity to the “largest genocide” within the Latin American nation’s historical past, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated on Friday in a scathing assault on present chief Jair Bolsonaro.

“On Tuesday, 3158 folks died of COVID in Brazil. It’s the most important genocide in our historical past,” Lula instructed Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly, including that Bolsonaro had lied to the Brazilian folks in regards to the pandemic.

“We should save Brazil from COVID-19,” the previous president added, saying that “Brazil is not going to stand up to it if this man continues to manipulate on this means.”

As Brazil surpassed 300,000 deaths from the virus on Wednesday, Lula known as on Bolsonaro to apologise to the households of victims.

Greater than 12 million folks in complete have been contaminated in Brazil, together with the virus-sceptical far-right President Bolsonaro, who known as coronavirus a “little flu”.

The nation has seen report day by day infections within the final week and hundreds of deaths per day, blamed on an area variant of the virus that’s believed to be extra contagious.

Lula, 75, led Brazil via an financial growth from 2003 to 2010 as head of the left-wing Employees’ Occasion earlier than being sentenced to a complete of 26 years in jail on costs of taking bribes in 2017.

After the corruption conviction towards him was annulled earlier this month, latest opinion polls recommend that he’s the best-placed politician to problem Bolsonaro in subsequent yr’s elections.

Brazil’s supreme courtroom dominated on Tuesday that the previous president had been convicted by a “biased” judge.

Within the interview printed on Friday, Lula claimed that the conviction was the results of a “pact between the judiciary and a few elements of the media” as a way to take away his successor and celebration colleague Dilma Rousseff from workplace and stop him from working within the 2018 elections.

Requested whether or not he would run towards Bolsonaro in 2022, the previous president stated that it was not the time to speak about candidacies.

“Our consideration ought to be centered not on the election, however on preventing the virus and vaccinating the general public,” he stated.