Within the next few days, Brazil is set to hit the mark of one million officially recorded coronavirus cases. Jair Bolsonaro’s “little flu” has proven itself to be anything but small.
To make things worse, several regions are haunted by possible underreporting of cases, suggesting the actual Covid-19 situation in Brazil could be far worse than the already outrageous milestone of one million.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Brazil could surpass the U.S. to become the country with the most coronavirus deaths in the world by July 29. Currently, Brazil has 46,665 deaths to the U.S.’ 120,000.
According to current trends, Brazil could reach a total 137,500 deaths over the next six weeks, then overtaking the U.S.’ slowing curve at 137,000. In terms of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Brazil could become the world’s leader by as early as July 12 according to the IHME model. The numbers don’t seem to say the contrary so far.
Will Mr. Bolsonaro finally sit up and pay attention? Unlikely. While the health crisis rages on, the president is more worried about institutional problems, with his close allies coming under investigation for spreading fake news and organizing anti-democratic protests. Just this morning, Fabricio Queiroz — family friend and former advisor to eldest son Flávio Bolsonaro — was arrested in São Paulo, guaranteeing that the president will have his mind off Covid-19 for some time.