Disapproval of Bolsonaro’s pandemic response falls

Disapproval Bolsonaro pandemic response
Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR

A poll published by the Datafolha institute on Sunday shows that Brazilians are less disapproving of President Jair Bolsonaro’s response to the pandemic than they were. In September 2021, 54 percent of voters rated his Covid strategy “poor” or “awful” – against 46 percent now. Meanwhile, those who rated the government’s pandemic performance “good” or “great” rose from 22 to 28 percent over the same period.

Approval is higher among older as well as less-educated voters, as well as among those in the South and Center-West regions.

Mr. Bolsonaro oversaw what was arguably one of the world’s most disastrous Covid responses, going against nearly every single response over which there was scientific consensus — speaking out against lockdowns, mask use, and even vaccines. 

A Senate inquiry accused the president of committing nine crimes related to the pandemic, including crimes against humanity — and declared he was partially responsible for Covid’s sheer death toll in Brazil (over 660,000 so far).

Approval of the government’s pandemic response rose in parallel with Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating overall. As the pandemic eases off in Brazil, the president has managed to distance himself from his past performance.

The government on Saturday announced a new set of rules for incoming travelers, who are no longer required to present a negative Covid test. They must only present proof of vaccination. “Complete immunization is mandatory for all individuals eligible for vaccination and who intend to enter Brazil,” said regulatory agency Anvisa in a statement.