Brazilian Governor Celebrates Holidays in Miami After Imposing Strict Lockdowns

João Doria, the governor of São Paulo, Brazil, was spotted celebrating the holidays in Miami on Wednesday, despite imposing strict lockdowns back in his home city.

In an image posted to Twitter on Thursday by journalist Glenn Greenwald, the official is shown with his wife, Bia Doria.

The conservative Governor of São Paulo, @jdoriajr, home to the hemisphere's largest city, has imposed strict lockdowns, including stricter ones recently, demanding everyone stay home.

He just got caught yesterday in Miami with his wife, for a warm Christmas & New Year's holiday. pic.twitter.com/epytBUbr4e

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 24, 2020

"The conservative Governor of São Paulo,@jdoriajr, home to the hemisphere's largest city, has imposed strict lockdowns, including stricter ones recently, demanding everyone stay home," Greenwald wrote in a tweet thread. "He just got caught yesterday in Miami with his wife, for a warm Christmas & New Year's holiday.

"When social media predictably exploded in rage that the very wealthy governor jetted off to Miami after locking down São Paulo residents for months, he immediately announced he was returning to Brazil, with the excuse that the Vice Governor tested positive for COVID."

Doria and his wife were previously spotted boarding a plane at Guarulhos International Airport on Wednesday, according to Portuguese news outlet, Bandeirantes. The plane was bound for Miami International Airport.

In a statement given to the outlet, the governor said he and his wife would be away for 10 days beginning December 22 to dedicate themselves to family for the holidays.

Doria's trip came only a few weeks after São Paulo declared tighter COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the holiday season, including a lockdown that will close all non-essential businesses from December 25 to December 27, and again from January 1 to January 3.

In Florida, however, coronavirus restrictions are much more lenient as Governor Ron DeSantis lifted all coronavirus restrictions on business in late September.

In November, when the state reported over 1 million cases since the state of the pandemic, DeSantis said he was against implementing any additional lockdowns or a statewide mask mandate during a news conference at Boggy Creek Elementary School in Kissimmee.

Florida will face "no lockdowns, no fines, no school closures," said DeSantis. "No one's losing their job because of a government dictate, nobody's losing their livelihood or their business. That is totally off the table."

With little COVID-19 mitigation, Florida, like many other states across the U.S., has reported a rise in cases since early October.

Over 11,300 new cases and 120 deaths were reported in the state on Wednesday, according to data from The New York Times. This week, Florida has seen an average of 11,295 new cases each day, a 21 percent increase compared to the two weeks prior.

As of Thursday morning, Brazil has reported over 7.3 million cases of COVID-19 and 189,000 deaths due to the virus over the course of the pandemic, based on data compiled by John Hopkins University. In São Paulo, cases have succeeded 1.41 million, while deaths in the area have topped 45,500. Over the last four weeks, São Paulo has registered a 54 percent increase in cases and a 34 percent jump in deaths.

Newsweek reached out to Doria, but didn't hear back in time for publication.

Brazilian governor Joao Doria
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 18: Governor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria holds a box of one of the 2 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac in partnership with the Butantan Institute that arrived from China this morning in the capital Sao Paulo on December 18, 2020 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Along with supplies for local production of CoronaVac by the Butantan Institute, the state today has more than 3 million doses of the vaccine available. The CoronaVac vaccine is in the third phase of testing and its effectiveness needs to be proven to receive a release from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to be applied in Brazil. Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images/Getty