Destiny is defined as “everything that is determined by providence or natural laws.” While President Bolsonaro is clearly not an avid reader of the dictionary, saying that dying of Covid-19 “is everybody’s destiny” didn’t come off well, even by his standards. Mr. Bolsonaro has already racked up a small book’s worth of shocking quotes on the pandemic, including referring to the disease as a “little flu,” and claiming he is “not a gravedigger.”
With or without these faux pas, Mr. Bolsonaro has to face his own fate: he is the leader of a country which has more than 500,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, over 32,500 deaths, forecasts of a 6.25-percent recession in 2020, as well as a whole host of other problems concerning vulnerable populations.
In the eye of the storm, his government’s rejection ratings have gone above 50 percent, according to an XP/Ipespe poll. What’s more, people are taking to the streets to protest Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration. Led by anti-fascist supporters clubs of major football teams, pro-democracy demonstrations were seen in several cities last weekend, with more scheduled for this coming Sunday.
Mr. Bolsonaro called these groups “terrorists,” while praising protests that marched in his support, which featured calls to close Congress and the Supreme Court, and saw some supporters waving symbols of extremist far-right groups, such as Ukraine’s neofascist Right Sector.
This stems from a growing desire within the extreme right “to Ukraine” Brazil, in reference to the Euromaidan protests of 2013, which included the violent involvement of far-right paramilitary groups.
Let’s remember that 2013 was the year in which the seed of former President Dilma Rousseff’ impeachment was planted. And let’s also remember that Mr. Bolsanaro is steadily losing popularity in opinion polls. If this is the start of a movement to remove him from office, will he face his destiny?