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Thu Mar 4, 2021, 10:04 PM

Opinion: Brazil's President Is A Global Health Threat; 'Tropical Trump'



- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been widely accused of mishandling the coronavirus in his country.

NPR, March 4, 2021.

RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil is in critical condition. Latin America's largest country is experiencing record-breaking death tolls and its health system is teetering on the brink of collapse. On Wednesday, it reported over 1,900 deaths in a 24-hour period, the highest single-day tally on record. Brazil already has the world's second-largest COVID-19 death toll 260,000 people and more than 10.7 million infected. The failure to slow the outbreak coupled with an anemic vaccination campaign has not only created a domestic tragedy, but a full-blown global threat.

Much of the blame for Brazil's disastrous health crisis lies squarely at the feet of the country's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Over the past year, he has downplayed the threat, peddled conspiracy theories, ridiculed health measures, denounced lockdowns, sabotaged vaccination efforts and even contracted the illness. Health authorities have implored federal and state government officials to impose stricter lockdown measures to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. In response, the president and his circle of advisers have urged supporters to resist mask-wearing and advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, despite the evidence that they do not work, and could even be dangerous, when used to treat COVID-19.

His government's handling of the pandemic is considered the world's worst. Yet, when asked about the pandemic response, the president countered that "nobody would do better than my government is doing."

It is not just Brazil that is put at risk by Bolsonaro's reckless negligence, but the world. New variants such as P.1 have already spread from Manaus, the capital and largest city of Amazonas state, to the rest of Brazil and at least 15 other countries, including the United States. The P.1 strand is more transmissible, affects younger patients, weakens the protective effects of vaccines being rolled out in Brazil and appears to have the potential to reinfect people who have already contracted COVID-19.

It did not have to be this way. Brazil oversees an impressive public health system and has amassed vast experience containing disease outbreaks. Yet Bolsonaro short-circuited the vaccination rollout from the beginning. His government's initial plan was to manufacture 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but this was delayed. He then tried to scuttle the distribution of CoronaVac, a Chinese vaccine vetted by local research institutes, and backed by Bolsonaro's rival, Joo Doria, the governor of So Paulo. Now his health minister is scrambling to buy 100 million doses from Pfizer and 38 million from Johnson & Johnson, but the earliest these will arrive is in May. As a result, just over 4 per 100 citizens have received a shot as compared with over 24 in the United States and 20 in Chile, according to Our World in Data, a website run by Oxford University.

(Why Scientists Are Very Worried About The Variant From Brazil).

Most Brazilians are determined to get vaccinated, though the proportion has slipped over the past year...

More, https://www.npr.org/2021/03/04/973662184/opinion-brazils-president-is-a-global-health-threat

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Reply Opinion: Brazil's President Is A Global Health Threat; 'Tropical Trump' (Original post)
appalachiablue Mar 4 OP
MFM008 Mar 4 #1
LuckyLib Mar 4 #2

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 10:28 PM

1. a grave threat

to the worlds ecology.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 10:42 PM

2. There will be a quarantine of Brazilians coming into the US or

Americans traveling there. A shut-down. The country didn't deserve this. No leadership.

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