Brazil has now surpassed the tragic milestone of 300,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, becoming only the second country in the world to do so.
Gripped by a brutal wave of infections, Brazil is in its most dramatic moment of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with the more transmissible Brazilian variant spreading unchecked and intensive care units overflowing across the country. As a means of comparison, it took Brazil 48 days to go from 200,000 to 250,000 deaths; jumping to 300,000 took just 28 days. As shown in the chart below, the curve is only increasing.
On Tuesday, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro gave a televised address to the nation, promising that Brazilians will be able to resume their normal lives “very soon.” However, Mr. Bolsonaro’s opposition to social isolation measures and Brazil’s slow vaccination rollout mean an end to the crisis is not in sight. Experts predict the country’s already high daily death figures will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
In response to the government’s catastrophic handling of the pandemic, the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) issued a request to the Attorney General’s Office to file criminal charges against President Bolsonaro for putting Brazilians’ health and lives at risk. While the request is unlikely to prosper, the engagement of the OAB brings credibility to calls for the president’s impeachment.