Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes swipe at Joe Biden, uses homophobic slurs in bizarre speech

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Photo credit: Getty

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who portrays himself as a close friend of US President Donald Trump, took a swipe at President-elect Joe Biden, referring to Biden as a "candidate" and assailing him for his stand on the Amazon rainforest.

In the same speech Bolsanaro said Brazil needs to stop being "a country of f*gs" in its approach to coronavirus. 

Bolsonaro is one of a small group of prominent world leaders yet to congratulate Biden, who won last week's presidential election and is due to enter the White House on January 20.

Speaking at an event on Tuesday, Bolsonaro took issue with Biden's call during a US presidential debate in September for Brazil to fight deforestation with foreign help or face unspecified "economic consequences."

"We saw recently there a great candidate to head of state say that if I don't put out the fire in the Amazon, he will put up commercial barriers against Brazil," Bolsonaro said.

"And how can we deal with all that? Just diplomacy is not enough ... When saliva runs out, one has to have gunpowder, otherwise it doesn't work."

Bolsonaro also said his country needs to "stop being a country of f*gs" regarding COVID-19.

The virus has killed 163,000 in Brazil - the second-highest death toll in the world with only the US recording higher. 

"All anyone talks about these days is the pandemic," Bolsanaro is quoted as saying.

"I regret the deaths I really do - but we're all going to die someday. We have to stop being a country of f*gs...we have to stand up to it and fight. I hate this f****t stuff."

The Brazilian leader's comments could herald a rocky start in relations with Biden, whose agenda with Brazil could be topped by Amazon deforestation and human rights.