It would be almost impossible to separate the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil from the rhetoric and performance of its populist president Jair Bolsonaro. From the beginning of the pandemic Bolsonaro has worked to undermine restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, challenged the country’s leading scientists and provided the media with a never-ending stream of erratic quotes about the virus. He tested positive for COVID-19 himself on July 7th. In March Bolsonaro famously called the disease a “flu”. In the first months of the virus he reacted accordingly by refusing to endorse social distancing or the wearing of masks. Nowadays Brazil is the country with the second most cases. This is about double the number of cases in the third hardest-hit country – India. In late June, Brazil’s daily death toll overtook place of the US to make Brazil the country with the highest number of daily deaths.
What are the core factors which contribute to the high numbers of deaths and cases?
Policy Paper – KIERAN SPENCER, July 2020
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