The Brazilian Government maintains a double discourse that threatens to hinder the fight against the coronavirus in the country.
On the one hand, President Jair Bolsonaro demands a return to normality and the end of quarantines. On the other, some of its ministers defend social distancing and warn of the severity of the crisis.
The far-right leader has underestimated with words and actions the seriousness of COVID-19, and contradicted the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) since the first cases in the country, just a month ago.
“Are some going to die? They are going to die. I regret, regret, that is life, it is reality,” he said in an interview with TV Bandeirantes on Friday.
Bolsonaro, who thinks that the coronavirus is a “flu”, considers it a “crime” to adopt confinement measures, as has already been done, to a greater or lesser extent, in the 27 states of Brazil, where up to now there have been 114 deaths and almost 4,000 confirmed cases.
This Sunday, he redoubled his challenge by taking a walk through Brasilia – the first city in the country that imposed restrictive measures – and talking to neighbors, against sanitary recommendations.
“With that current policy of closing everything, the economic consequences will be disastrous,” he told reporters.
Bolsonaro’s position contrasts with that of some of the members of his Government, especially that of the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta.
THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH INSISTS ON SOCIAL ISOLATION
Mandetta on Saturday reinforced the need to maintain social isolation, even for young people, and stressed that his team will be guided only by “science”.
“If we walk away, everyone at once, will be lacking for the rich, for the poor, for everyone,” he said.
He also criticized the caravans organized by followers of Bolsonaro against quarantines and lowered the euphoria around chloroquine as a magic solution against the coronavirus.
“Chloroquine is not the medicine that came to save humanity,” said Mandetta, as opposed to Bolsonaro, who assured that he has “precise information” that “chloroquine” had “a high success rate” for patients with coronavirus. .
He also expressed that the current pandemic is “totally different” from that of H1N1, which emerged in 2009, and rejected any type of comparison, as the president recently did.
Mandetta’s appearance came after holding a meeting with Bolsonaro and other ministers, described as “tense” by the local press and in which, according to the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, asked the president not to belittle the crisis.
Other members of the Brazilian Government have also defended social distancing, among them the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who has launched a liquidity injection plan of some 750,000 million reais (150,000 million dollars) to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
The Executive also closed its land borders and prohibited the entry to the country of all foreign citizens by air, although with some exceptions.
STATES, MUNICIPALITIES AND CONGRESS AGAINST BOLSONARO
The governors of the 27 states of the country have ratified that they will continue with the measures to reduce mobility, despite the criticism of the president.
The governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, whom Bolsonaro called “lunatic” for decreeing quarantine in the state of São Paulo, has been one of the most critical, and in an interview with Efe, assured that the president “is not with the mental faculties in fullness to be able to lead the country. “
For its part, the National Front of Mayors, which brings together the heads of the 5,571 municipalities in the country, threatened to go to Justice to hold Bolsonaro responsible for the consequences of a possible change in health policies.
The presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, Rodrigo Maia and Davi Alcolumbre, respectively, condemned the attitude of the ruler and affirmed that the country needs a “serious leader”.
Justice has also curbed that desire to return to normality.
He overturned a decree allowing lottery houses and religious temples to continue operating, although Bolsonaro announced that he will resort, and ordered the government to “refrain” from launching institutional campaigns contrary to scientific criteria.
BOLSONARO’S CHILDREN LEAD OFFENSE IN THE NETS
Bolsonaro’s eldest sons, Senator Flavio, Rio de Janeiro Councilman Carlos and Federal Deputy Eduardo, have amplified their father’s views on social media.
Flavio shared this week a video that was supposedly part of an institutional campaign that encouraged Brazilians to return to work under the slogan “Brazil cannot stop.”
The Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency quickly stepped up to report that it is an “experimental” video and that its disclosure was not approved.
“The president is very confident in the opinion” of his children, summarized the Brazilian vice president, Hamilton Mourao, when answering in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper about their possible influence on his father’s decision-making.
Carlos Meneses Sánchez