President Jair Bolsonaro has visited a market area just outside the Brazilian capital to press home his case for keeping Latin America's largest economy ticking instead of locking down activities to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
But Bolsonaro office's social media campaign "Brazil can't stop" was banned on Saturday by a federal judge and ran into a barrage of criticism from state governors, politicians, public health experts and even his own health minister.
In Taguatinga, a low-income suburb of Brasilia, Bolsonaro stopped in a usually bustling market square to speak to a man selling barbecued meat.
"We have to work. There are deaths but that is up to God, we cannot stop," the man said, according to a video posted on the president's social media accounts.
"If we do not die of the illness, we will die of hunger."
Bolsonaro said he had maintained Brazilians needed to continue working while taking precautions not to catch COVID-19.
He also has lashed out at state and municipal officials who closed non-essential businesses and banned public meetings.
Bolsonaro told reporters he was considering an executive decree that would allow all professionals and informal sector workers to work if their income was vital to feed their families.
Despite confirmed cases of COVID-19 almost tripling in seven days to 4256 by Saturday, Bolsonaro has continued to deny the gravity of the disease, calling it "a small cold" that would kill only old people.
The diseases has caused 136 deaths in Brazil and more than 30,000 globally.
The "Brazil can't stop" social media campaign was banned at the request of federal prosecutors.
Judge Laura Bastos ruled Brazilians could not be encouraged to leave the isolation of their homes without there being a national plan to fight the pandemic.
Australian Associated Press