Bolsonar’s handling of the Brazilian coronavirus disaster poses a threat to the world


The country reported close to 3,000 deaths on Tuesday, an increase that has accelerated this month. In the past week, Brazil has announced a record of 12,888 new deaths and more than 467,944 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Experts warn that the Brazilian hospital system is on the verge of collapse, with the highest occupancy nearby or even pushing past capacities in more than half of the country’s countries. Instead of increasing, the daily numbers of coronavirus tests applied – which are key to monitoring and stopping outbreaks in cases – have it has dropped dramatically since December.

Part of the problem is the emergence of a more virulent one coronavirus variant in Brazil, whose rapid expansion has raised global alarm since January. “If Brazil is not serious, then it will continue to affect the whole neighborhood there – and beyond,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, warned earlier this month. “This is not just about Brazil. It is about the whole of Latin America and even beyond. “

Just as Brazil’s fourth health minister was due to start his new job in the past year, the country reported a record number of coronavirus deaths on March 16. (Reuters)

“Patients are moving from state to state – sometimes traveling hundreds of miles – in a national hunt for hospital resources,” my colleague Terrence McCoy wrote last week. “Without a ventilator, the nurses pumped the infected lungs to the patients by hand. Cemeteries are running out of space to dispose of bodies. Refrigerated containers are waiting in front of hospitals to pick up the topping. People across the country are dying at home, they can’t be treated. “

It is impossible to overlook the role played by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Far right bonfire broke through the pandemic – known as coronavirus a little more than the “scarce flu” a year ago, and more recently in December, declaring that it had erupted has reached its “tail end”. He himself contracted the virus, but continued to show unproven drugs and raged against social exclusion and other precautions advocated by regional officials and his political opponents. Under Bolsonar’s supervision, Brazil “succumbed denial,, disorganization,, apathy,, hedonism i medical quackery”, Wrote McCoy.

During briefing on tuesday, Marcelo Queiroga, a cardiologist who will move into the role of health minister in the coming days, reiterated his allegiance to Bolsonar. “The president is very concerned about the situation,” he said.

Critics question whether this is true. Bolsonaro is partly to blame for Brand’s lack of effective national coordination regarding the pandemic. He and his allies initially pushed for misinformation, reducing the threat of viruses and the effectiveness of social distancing and masks. Later, Bolsonaro examined the value of vaccines, fueling an anti-Peking feeling even while the Chinese vaccine was being tested in Brazil. Last October, he blocked federal government plans for the purchase of tens of millions of doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

But with Trump’s departure and the rise of infections, Bolsonaro is in the middle of a humiliating face. His government announced last week that it had ordered 10 million doses of Russian vaccine. And he had to go to China with a cap in his hand to ask for tens of millions of doses of Chinese vaccine, as well as raw materials for mass production on Brazilian soil.

“China has been suppressing resentment and mistrust for months as the place where the pandemic began, but in recent weeks its diplomats, pharmaceutical executives and other powerful brokers have made numerous requests for vaccines from desperate officials in Latin America, where the pandemic continues. a devastating tribute that grows day by day, ” remarked the New York Times. “Beijing’s ability to mass produce vaccines and deliver them to developing countries – while rich countries, including the United States, accumulating millions of doses – offered to open diplomatic and public relations that China was ready to capture. “

Meanwhile, in the turbulent Brazilian domestic political scene, Bolsonar’s mismanagement proved a new opening for his main rival. Former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva despised Bolsonar’s “moronic” treatment of the crisis. “This country is in a state of extreme crowding and confusion because there is no government,” Lula said last week, lamenting the lives they could have saved and warning that “covid is taking over the land”.

Brazilian medical workers are desperately trying to prevent this from happening. “We’re trying to help people, but this disease is much faster and more aggressive than the tactics we used,” said André Machado, an infectious disease specialist in Porto Alegre. he told the Guardian. “It’s like whipping a dead horse. This disease will kill many more people in Brazil. “

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