What COVID-19 outbreaks in Brazil and US have in common

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A demonstrator participates in a protest supporting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil, July 19, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Adriano Machado.

The COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil is the second worst in the world, behind the U.S.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19 for the third consecutive time. It’s been roughly two weeks since the politician first contracted the virus.

“He said from the very beginning that it’s just a little flu. If he got it, he wouldn’t show any symptoms,” says Brazil-based journalist Michael Fox, who has been covering this for PRI’s The World.

Even with a positive test, Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the impacts of coronavirus on Brazilians and touted the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug which the World Health Organization has advised not to give to COVID-19 patients.

“It’s almost a mockery of science and medicine and what should be the defense against this virus,” says Fox.

Meanwhile, Brazil is in crisis trying to respond to the exponential increase in cases. They’ve had more than 2 million positive test results and more than 80,000 deaths.

“There’s been more than 1000 deaths a day across Brazil for weeks at this point,” says Fox.

Credits

Guest:
Michael Fox - Brazil-based freelance journalist

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin, Nihar Patel