Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro denied the seriousness of the pandemic and continued the downplaying of Covid-19 on Friday, March 27. The leader cast doubt on the death toll in Sao Paolo and blamed the state governor for the manipulation of the numbers for political means.
Jair Bolsanaro's continuous claims that the economy is more important when compared to the new coronavirus has been condemned by the state governors. Bolsonaro continued to prioritize the economy more than social distancing as countries across the role go into lockdown. To ensure public health, 26 of the state governors have followed the expert advice and stopped the non-essential commercial activities and public services to contain the possible outbreak in their respective states.
The first to die in the country was a 63-year-old woman who travelled to one of the wealthiest parts of the country to work for a woman who had just travelled back from Italy. The maid caught the virus as she was in the vulnerable category with diabetes and high blood pressure. She died in a cinderblock house kilometres away from Leblon, which she shares with her relatives.
Downplaying the death toll in Sao Paolo
The President said that the death toll in Sao Paolo seemed far too big to be realistic. "I'm sorry, some people will die, they will die, that's life," said Bolsonaro during a television interview on Friday night. "You can't stop a car factory because of traffic deaths."
Sao Paolo has the largest number of cases and deaths in the country so far. So far they have reported more than 1,200 cases and 68 deaths. Prior to the Bolsonaro interview on Friday, Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said that the President was spreading disinformation by launching the TV ad campaign against the restrictions. Bolsonaro is using the same slogan that Milan used before the numbers soared in Italy.
There are active actions being taken by the other sections of the country, unlike the President. The Justice ministry in the country has stopped all Non-Residents from entering the country through the airports. The ban will be effective from Monday onwards. It is a measure that is being followed by several of the South American countries. On Friday, the Central Bank issued measures in line with the other countries to help smaller companies with the payroll and other activities.
There have been more than 3,000 confirmed cases in Brazil with related deaths being confirmed to be more than 90. The President has been losing his popularity during the crisis because of inactions and plans of handling it. Several critics are calling Bolsonaro's tactics to be a Trump dialogue.