Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said 1,000 men have their penises amputated in his country each year due to a lack of basic hygiene — a number he called “ridiculous and sad.”
“In Brazil, we have 1,000 penis amputations a year due to a lack of water and soap,” the far-right president told reporters Thursday in the capital, Brasilia. “We have to find a way to get out of the bottom of this hole.”
The former army captain did not specify the source of the alarming number, but a spokeswoman for the Brazilian urology society said the figure was based on official data for penis amputations, which were necessitated by untreatable infections along with cancers and complications from HIV.
The president said his government must work with vulnerable men to alert them of the dangers of unhygienic behavior.
Bolsonaro has waded into sensitive topics and made controversial statements before.
In March, he made headlines after tweeting a video showing one man urinating on another during a street carnival in Brazil.
“What is a golden shower?” Bolsonaro tweeted after posting the video, in which a man was seen taking a leak on the head of a scantily clad partygoer.
Bolsonaro, who was inaugurated in January, once said he would rather his son be dead than gay, and told a female colleague she was too ugly to rape.