Jair Bolsonaro’s words were almost lost in the noise: on Tuesday evening, Brazil’s president addressed the population with a television speech. In numerous cities, Brazilians banged pots on their windows, roared chants against the government, and set off fireworks. With his statements about the coronavirus, Bolsonaro is increasingly catapulting itself into the sidelines. He himself made sure that there was a movement against him.
During his speech, he once again called Corona “little flu” and called for a return to normal. In recent days, individual states have declared a state of emergency, events have been canceled, the retail trade has largely been closed, and crowds of people have been banned. Bolsonaro is now demanding that all facilities and shops be reopened.
According to Bolsonaro, Italy has “a completely different climate”, so a situation like that in the southern European country is unimaginable in Brazil. Since the risk group of the virus is older people, it makes no sense to close schools.
“By demanding a ‘normal life’ in this pandemic, Bolsonaro is accepting the deaths of thousands of people,” said Orlando Silva, MP of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), the TEH. “In his speech, Bolsonaro managed to contest all recommendations of the World Health Organization and to deny any studies of science.”
Health system collapse feared for late April
Health experts also vehemently contradict the president and warn of a dramatic escalation of the crisis. Brazil has more than 2,000 confirmed corona cases, and more than 40 people have died of Covid 19 in the past few days.
Health Minister Luiz Mandetta predicted a collapse of the health system in late April. In addition, the first cases in densely populated favelas were reported earlier this week. According to medical professor Miguel Srougi, corona threatens a disaster for the socially disadvantaged population. “The poor will die at the hospital doors,” said the scientist from the renowned University of São Paulo to the news portal UOL.
Tuesday’s statements are symptomatic of Bolsonaro’s headless course. He had referred to the virus several times as “fantasy” and “hysteria”. His communications chief Fabio Wajngarten and more than 20 government employees tested positive for the virus after a trip to the USA.
Bolsonaro is also suspected of being corona. The hospital where the ex-military was tested handed the authorities a list of infected on Tuesday. Two names were blackened on it – quite a few suspect that it could be Bolsonaro.
The president of the largest country in Latin America had already caused outrage on Monday when he enacted a decree that companies should allow employees to suspend employment contracts for four months and not pay employees or unemployment insurance during this period. After a public outcry, the right-wing radical withdrew the controversial part of the decree.
Bolsonaro is completely overwhelmed with the situation
It is becoming increasingly clear that Bolsonaro is completely overwhelmed by the situation. Instead of calming down the heated situation, he attacks everyone who criticizes him. On Tuesday evening he attacked the media again and made them responsible for the spread of the virus. Even ultra-conservative newspapers and television stations had criticized Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic in the past few days.
Bolsonaro is increasingly isolated, and frustration among the population is growing. This is how the corona crisis could do what the disoriented and weak left failed: to build a movement against the government.
The cooking pots protests on the windows are getting louder every evening, and many former government supporters are turning away from Bolsonaro. The Bolsonaro-critical protests were heard in many quarters on Tuesday evening, where he had won the election in October 2018 by an absolute majority. Left MPs now want to initiate impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro.
The President also spoke about his own health during his speech on Tuesday evening. If he gets infected, he said confidently, don’t worry. Because he used to be an athlete.