Bolivia is in a bit of a pickle: within less than two weeks, the number of people infected by COVID-19 in the country went from 5,000 to 10,000. And what do you do when your population of anything doubles? You call Thanos. Or at least that's who Bolivia's minister of Public Works, Ivan Arias, invoked during a press conference on May 31:
The above video starts like a sane press event, with the Minister announcing that the country is facing a "very serious" challenge as it moves into a new stage of its ongoing lockdown. And then, just as he's telling Bolivians to act like responsible adults, he bends down and takes a Thanos action figure out of a plastic bag. Like, intentionally. He wasn't trying to take out a pen or something and got confused.
"Thanos, the virus, is taking over Bolivia," states one of the country's top government officials in a completely deadpan tone. "This is lack of responsibility, this is chaos, this is death," he adds, referring to the chunk of purple plastic shaped like a buff Josh Brolin in his hands. He then holds up maps of active cases in the country next to the action figure, as if wishing that it could snap away all those people going out to buy anticuchos without their masks on.
"Thanos, pain, death, is taking over," he repeats, and we can't help thinking that anyone who turned on their TV at that moment must have absolutely shat their pants. How many Bolivians flipped off their bosses because they thought the government was announcing an alien invasion? It does seem like the next logical step for 2020.
And speaking of aliens, we now get to the moment when this goes from an offbeat press conference to an Independence Day-style inspirational speech. "We must bring out the best in ourselves," says the minister, reaching into the bag once again. "We must bring out our greatest Avengers." And he does just that: it's Hulk and Iron Man in plastic form.
"We must protect ourselves. We must be watchful against this Thanos." The Minister shakes the tyrant's figure for effect. "This means chaos, this means death." Then he lifts up Hulk and Iron Man so decisively that you might think the Avengers theme song started playing out of nowhere, but no, it's all in your head. "This means order, this means respect, this means thinking of the common good." Doo-doo-dooo, dooo, dooo, doooo ...
"Citizens of Bolivia," the guy we now wish we could legally vote for says, "it's up to you to give the power to Thanos ... or give the power ... to the Avengers. To our greatest strengths." Forget Independence Day, this is better than Lincoln, Roosevelt, and JFK put together. The Minister wraps it up in an ominous note by reiterating that the maps show Bolivia being "dominated" by Thanos, then passes the word to another official. We watched that part of the conference too, but since he didn't use any superhero merch as props our brains are physically incapable of retaining that information.
We may not be able to vote for Minister Arias, but if he ever starts one of those YouTube channels where grown men just play with action figures for 30 minutes, sign us the fuck up. Anyway, best of luck to Bolivia in its war against the villainous virus, and please remember:
Top Photo: Marvel Studios