International Diplomat Magazine

Brazil faces dark week as Covid-19 toll rises


Brazil appears to be entering another dark week, as coronavirus cases grow by the thousands and controversy swells around President Jair Bolsonaro.
The Ministry of Health announced 11,687 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed over the last 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to over 374,800. More than 23,400 Brazilians have died so far.
The increase follows a grim milestone over the weekend: On Saturday, Brazil overtook Russia to become the country with the most confirmed cases of Covid-19 after the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
That was the night that Bolsonaro and his security team left Brasilia’s presidential palace and made an impromptu stop at a hot dog stand. While local media captured the president eating his snack, people could be heard yelling “killer” and “trash” and banging pots and pans from their windows. The President at one point turned and wagged his finger at the crowd.
While the country’s number of confirmed cases and death rate soar, Bolsonaro has referred to the virus as a “little flu” and frequently downplayed its risks. Two health ministers have left his cabinet in the past few weeks — one was fired and the other resigned — after disagreements over how to handle the pandemic.

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