During a press conference, the United Nations’ Refugee Agency Director, Georgette Gagnon, criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s decision-making during the Covid-19 pandemic. She expressed concern about the “possible harmful consequences” of Brazil’s inability to control the pandemic.
“In Brazil, we are concerned with conflicting messages from the high authorities, sometimes underestimating the gravity of the situation, which can hamper Brazil’s efforts to combat the pandemic and lead to possible harmful consequences.” Just last week, Mr. Bolsonaro said he wouldn’t follow World Health Organization recommendations because its head, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is not a physician. However, he is a microbiologist and internationally recognized malaria researcher.
Since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in 2019, Brazil has engaged in a foreign policy platform that can only be described as tumultuous. One of the most controversial moments was Jair Bolsonaro’s speech at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly. As The Brazilian Report editor Euan Marshall wrote at the time, Mr. Bolsonaro “unleashed wave after wave of bizarre rhetoric, with healthy doses of aggression and misinformation, and a pinch of pure insanity.”