Media Outlets Examine Politicization Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Leadership In U.S., Brazil

Democracy Now!: How U.S. and Brazil Leadership That “Neglects Science” Led to Hemisphere’s Worst Coronavirus Crises
“As coronavirus infections worldwide approach 10 million, nearly half can be found in the two largest countries in the Americas: the United States and Brazil, which now has the worst infection rate in the world and could surpass the U.S. death toll next month. ‘What we see in the country is a reflection of the leadership that we have,’ says Marcia Castro, professor of demography, chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and co-chair of Harvard’s Brazil Studies Program, noting far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the pandemic’s severity and undermined efforts to enforce protective measures. We also discuss the country’s participation in vaccine trials, the impact of the crisis on Brazil’s Indigenous population, and the spike in COVID in the three most populous U.S. states of California, Texas, and Florida” (Goodman, 6/25).

Newsweek: Politicizing and Polarizing the Pandemic Pinned America As Global Epicenter
“…It has now been suggested the uptick in COVID-19 cases [in the U.S.] may, in part, be due to politicization of the pandemic, with a failure to coordinate a unified response across the country. In a study published in Science Advances, a team of political scientists analyzed over 30,000 tweets from members of the U.S. Congress. They found rapid politicization and polarization of the pandemic. ‘We found that once the parties started to figure out the political implications of the issue, polarization was evident in the tweets pretty quickly,’ study co-author John Green, from Ohio State University, said in a statement…” (Osborne, 6/25).

POLITICO: Trump ‘like a child’ in responding to coronavirus, Biden says
“Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday ripped President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and put forward his vision for expanding health care access by building on Obamacare. ‘[Trump’s] like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him — all his whining and self-pity,’ Biden said during a speech in Lancaster, Pa. ‘Well, this pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it, to lead’…” (Cohen, 6/25).

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