After dozens of military officers began occupying critical positions within Brazil’s Health Ministry, the department has changed the design of its Covid-19 platform. As of Friday night, the ministry has begun highlighting only three pieces of data: daily deaths, new cases, and recovered cases. The new format continues to showcase the total numbers countrywide, but no longer offers detailed information per state, nor developing trends.
The government is also publishing data after newscasts are over. President Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday that Jornal Nacional, Brazil’s main news program, would “run out of subjects to talk about.”
Since Friday night, the official Covid-19 portal has been down, showing a brief message that it is “under maintenance,” with no data being available. The government’s transparency portal, which gained attention yesterday for exposing the personal information of nearly 54 million Brazilians, was also down for part of the night.
The Brazilian government plans to rewrite history
Carlos Wizard, a fervent religious billionaire who has recently become the Health Ministry’s new advisor, told reporters he would ask for the recount of all Covid-19 numbers in Brazil. Mr. Wizard believes that the current numbers are either “fantastical or manipulated,” adding that local governments are lying about the actual situation to have their budgets increased.
Brazil has been seen worldwide as a textbook example of how to botch a pandemic response, mixing denial, a lack of transparency, and a penchant for “miraculous” yet unproven cures for Covid-19. Not to mention the several corruption scandals involving the construction of field hospitals in many states. Even U.S. President Donald Trump has called out Brazil’s shortcomings.Support this coverage →