Brazil’s President Rejects Nationwide Lockdown Despite Record COVID-19 Death Toll

HeadlineApr 08, 2021

Brazil logged 3,800 COVID deaths Wednesday, nearly topping a record high of over 4,000 deaths set a day earlier. Hospitals are running out of basic supplies, including sedatives and oxygen, and Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, said it would open 600 new graves per day. This is Paula Galvão, a doctor at a field hospital in São Paulo.

Dr. Paula Galvão: “The difficulty I’ve seen most recently is not only elderly patients arriving, but also many younger patients — 30, 21, 26, 29 years old. These were the worst patients I had yesterday. This is really bad.”

On Wednesday, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro once again refused to order nationwide public health measures and scoffed at opposition politicians who accused him of “genocide” over his administration’s disastrous handling of the pandemic.

President Jair Bolsonaro: “Let us not accept the policy of staying at home, of closing everything, lockdown. The virus will not go away. The virus, like others, is here to stay and will remain for a lifetime. It is practically impossible to eradicate it. And until then, what are we going to do?”

On Tuesday, Brazil’s lower house of Congress passed a bill — backed by President Bolsonaro — that would allow corporations to directly purchase vaccines on the international market and give them to employees — ahead of priority groups, including medical workers and the elderly.

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