Brazilian President Bolsonaro Remains Popular Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases, No Vaccination Plan

Al Jazeera: COVID cases skyrocket in Brazil with no vaccination start date
“…Long queues for intensive care beds are forming outside public healthcare systems across Rio de Janeiro with wait times of more than 15 days for some COVID-19 patients. … Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been at odds with health officials over how to respond to the pandemic. Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the novel coronavirus as a ‘little flu’ and said on Thursday Brazil was at the ‘tail end of the pandemic’…” (Peet, 12/15).

Reuters: Brazil says China ‘not transparent’ on COVID-19 vaccine emergency use
“Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa said on Monday China’s health authorities are not transparent in their authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, a statement that may further inflame political tension in the South American country…” (Simões et al., 12/15).

Washington Post: Brazil has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll. But Bolsonaro is as popular as ever.
“There are few more curious political stories in 2020 than the enduring popularity of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. … Polling also found that a majority of Brazilians — 52 percent — believed Bolsonaro deserves ‘no blame’ for coronavirus deaths. To an outsider, at least, it’s a surprising verdict on a president who raged against social distancing restrictions, squabbled with cabinet ministers who took the pandemic’s threat more seriously than he did, feuded with state governors who instituted local lockdowns and ended up contracting the virus himself…” (Tharoor, 12/16).

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