President Jair Bolsonaro’s excessive focus on economic matters during the pandemic — to the detriment of health issues — is not merely seen in his public statements. Reporters Raphael Di Cunto and Fabio Murakawa, from financial newspaper Valor, have examined the president’s official schedule and found that in the first two months of Brazil’s state of public calamity, Mr. Bolsonaro met with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes 34 times — almost 50 percent more than his meetings with the multiple heads of the Health Ministry combined.
One high-profile former cabinet minister, speaking to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, said Jair Bolsonaro never showed any interest in addressing issues related to Covid-19. Despite alleged attempts from the cabinet to debate isolation policies, “Mr. Bolsonaro always dismissed the importance of discussions about the coronavirus.”
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