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Vaccine skeptic Bolsonaro gets a pass at UN but not New York restaurants

brazil's president jair bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony at the planalto palace
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro

Unvaccinated heads of state attending the United Nation General Assembly this week may have to settle for a piece of pizza on a sidewalk instead of fine dining at New York’s restaurants.

That is how Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro dined on his first night in New York, where no one is allowed into the city’s restaurants without proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The far-right populist is a vaccine skeptic who has bragged about not being vaccinated, saying before he left for New York that his immune system is strong enough to fend off the coronavirus.

Two Cabinet ministers on his delegation posted a photo of Bolsonaro and aides munching on slices of pizza on a New York sidewalk on Sunday night.

Bolsonaro’s supporters praised the casual “simplicity” of their leader happy to eat pizza on the street near the Manhattan hotel where he is staying.

Brazil’s mission to the United Nations declined to comment on reports a Brazilian diplomat had tested positive in New York.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “We are aware of the reports and are in contact with the Brazilian mission.”

Bolsonaro will be the first head of state to address the annual U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday morning.

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