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Brazil’s Bolsonaro ‘washing palms’ of coronavirus

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wears a face masks throughout a press convention on the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 on the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on March 20, 2020. – Brazil’s authorities on Friday drastically downgraded its development projections for 2020 by 2.1 % to virtually zero (0.02 %) as a result of coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sergio LIMA / AFP)

The chief on the epicenter of Brazil’s COVID-19 battle says President Jair Bolsonaro is “washing his hands” of the brand new coronavirus, and he doesn’t imply that within the “Safe Hands Challenge” type of means.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, a former ally of the far-right president, is the person working the response to the coronavirus pandemic within the hardest-hit place in Latin America, his residence state.

Sao Paulo state, a teeming industrial heart with roughly the identical inhabitants as Spain, has registered three-quarters of the 77 deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil, the place the full variety of confirmed circumstances is nearing 3,000.

Adding to his each day challenges, he’s coping with a president who repeatedly assaults him for following World Health Organization pointers on closing companies and telling folks to remain residence in a bid to cease the unfold of the virus.

Bolsonaro, whose in-your-face model has earned him the nickname “Tropical Trump,” says there is no such thing as a want for such “scorched-earth” insurance policies, which he warns will wreck the financial system within the identify of stopping a illness he has in comparison with “a little flu.”

In an interview with AFP, Doria, a 62-year-old conservative touted as a possible contender to face Bolsonaro in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, mentioned the president’s response to the pandemic has left the nation with a management void.

Q: Local authorities have been those working the battle towards COVID-19 on the bottom in Brazil. You not too long ago had a video convention along with your fellow governors to speak about the perfect methods to reply. What did they must say?

“They had been unanimous in saying they are going to proceed taking social distancing measures, progressively, relying on the traits (of the outbreak) in every area. No governor goes to just accept the anti-isolation suggestion made by President Jair Bolsonaro. They all perceive the measure is critical and that the coronavirus disaster is critical.

“There has been a real lack of leadership. The president has given up leading the country at a very difficult time… He says coronavirus is a little flu and accuses governors of paralyzing the country… But the vast majority of people understand the importance of this (isolation) period, which could last until late July.”

Q: Bolsonaro has warned Brazil is going through “chaos” if containment measures injury the financial system. Do you suppose that’s the case?

“I don’t think so. Brazil has mechanisms, particularly if the federal government acts, to launch an emergency spending program that guarantees a minimum income so Brazilians can get through the next four months…. And even if the federal government fails to act, each governor will know how to step up. The president has washed his hands of the crisis and isn’t leading the country… But that lack of leadership has been filled by governors and mayors who have worked hard to guarantee we are taking care of the poor, the unemployed, small businesses and workers in the informal sector.”

Q: Do you suppose you threat dropping political capital over this?

“I’m not worried about political capital, I’m worried about saving lives.”

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