This photo shows Brazil’s president getting emotional during a 2019 speech

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A photo has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts alongside a claim that it shows Italy’s president crying over the novel coronavirus epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives in his country. The claim is false; the photo shows Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro getting emotional during a Thanksgiving speech in December 2019. 

The photo has been shared more than 200 times after it was posted here on Facebook on March 22. 

The caption states, in part: “Just look at the crying president of #Italy. Italy has the most advance health care facilities but they failed to control #Corona because they were taking it as a joke in initial days & today their president cried that they are short of space for burying dead bodies of Corona victims😢 Ctto."

COVID-19 has claimed more than 6,000 lives in Italy in one month, according to this AFP report. The global death toll is more than 16,000 according to World Health Organization (WHO) data on March 25. 

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post: 

A screenshot of the misleading post

The photo was also shared on Facebook here, here, here and here; on Twitter here, here, here and here; as well as on Instagram here and here with a similar claim.

The claim is false; the photo shows Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro shedding a tear during a Thanksgiving speech in December 2019. 

A reverse image search on Google found the image in the misleading posts published in this December 2019 report by Brasilia-based news site Poder360 with credit to Sergio Lima, one of the site's photojournalists. 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the photo published by Poder360 (R):

The report states Bolsonaro got emotional at a Thanksgiving service at the Planalto Palace, the president’s office, when he recalled being stabbed in the city of Juiz de Fora during the 2018 election campaign. 

The moment was captured in this YouTube video posted by Planalto on December 17, 2019, alongside a corresponding caption. 

The caption translates to English as: “President Jair Bolsonaro was thrilled to speak this Tuesday (17th) during the Thanksgiving Worship at the Planalto Palace. Bolsonaro recalled the moments when he was in the hospital, after being stabbed in Juiz de Fora, and that he asked God not to leave his daughter an orphan.” 

Below is a screenshot comparison of photos taken from the social media accounts of Bolsonaro (L) and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella (R):