States free to continue isolation measures, says Supreme Court

. Apr 09, 2020
States free to continue isolation measures, says Supreme Court Closed kiosks and near empty Copacabana beach. Photo: Maarten Zeehandelaar/Shutterstock

This newsletter is for PREMIUM subscribers only. Become one now!

We’re covering the continuing war between Jair Bolsonaro, governors … and now the Supreme Court. Emergency aid starts to reach low-income Brazilians. And Bolsonaro’s losing ground on Twitter.

Supreme Court greenlights states to defy the president

After nearly firing his Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, on Monday,

Jair Bolsonaro once again addressed the nation last night in a televised speech. And once again, he showed his disgust with the Health Ministry&#8217;s social isolation directives. He said all restrictive measures are entirely state governors&#8217; responsibility — and that the federal government wasn&#8217;t even consulted before these measures were taken.</p> <p><strong>What he is doing.</strong> Jair Bolsonaro wants to throw the burden for the <a href="https://brazilian.report/podcast/2020/04/02/explaining-brazil-podcast-brazil-facing-a-job-apocalypse/">coming recession</a> solely on the lap of local administrations, presenting himself as the champion of hardworking citizens. He has said multiple times over the past few days that he has already drafted a decree which would suspend all quarantine measures.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile … </strong>Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued an injunction allowing states and municipalities to continue restrictive measures even if the president issues an order to the contrary. &#8220;It is not up to the federal government to unilaterally ban measures (&#8230;) that are proven effective to reduce the number of [Covid-19] infections and deaths,&#8221; wrote Justice Moraes. (Read the <a href="https://www.jota.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/adpf-672-cautelar-pdf-pdf-pdf-pdf.pdf">Supreme Court decision</a>, in Portuguese.) </p> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> As soon as Mr. Bolsonaro vented the possibility of banning restrictive measures, political actors said publicly that the Supreme Court and Congress would strike the decision down. The injunction is material evidence of the president&#8217;s sheer political isolation.</p> <p><strong>Protests.</strong> During the president&#8217;s speech, many large urban centers reported <em>cacerolazos</em> (pot-banging protests), with <a href="https://brazilian.report/opinion/2020/03/30/coronavirus-pandemic-changes-brazilian-politics-bolsonaro/">cries for Mr. Bolsanaro&#8217;s impeachment</a>. In an upper-middle-class neighborhood in São Paulo, one woman&#8217;s window was shot at as she called for Mr. Bolsonaro&#8217;s ousting.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Emergency salary starts being paid today</h2> <p>The first installment of a three-month, BRL 600 (USD 117) emergency salary to informal workers will be paid out to beneficiaries today. The first in line for the cash are those who already have accounts in state-owned banks Caixa and Banco do Brasil. According to Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, 17 million Brazilians downloaded the app created by the government to help people enroll for the aid —&nbsp;and 10 million people have already been approved.</p> <ul><li>In just 24 hours, the app &#8220;Caixa Auxílio Emergencial&#8221; became the most-downloaded app in Brazil, according to data from the Zurich-based market research firm 42Matters. Among the top 16 apps, five have some connection to government benefits.</li></ul> <h4 style="text-align:center">Most downloaded apps in Brazil</h4> <figure class="wp-block-image"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="465" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list-1024x465.jpg" alt="We're covering the continuing war between Jair Bolsonaro, governors … and now the Supreme Court. Emergency aid starts to reach low-income Brazilians. And Bolsonaro's losing ground on Twitter. This newsletter is for premium subscribers only. Become one now! Supreme Court greenlights states to defy the president After nearly firing his Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta on Monday, Jair Bolsonaro once again addressed the nation last night in a televised speech. And once again, he showed his disgust with the Health Ministry's social isolation directives. He said all restrictive measures are entirely state governors' responsibility — and that the federal government wasn't even consulted before these measures were taken. What he is doing. Jair Bolsonaro wants to throw the burden for the coming recession solely on the lap of local administrations, presenting himself as the champion of hardworking citizens. He has said multiple times over the past few days that he has already drafted a decree which would suspend all quarantine measures. Meanwhile … Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued an injunction allowing states and municipalities to continue restrictive measures even if the president issues an order to the contrary. &quot;It is not up to the federal government to unilaterally ban measures (...) that are proven effective to reduce the number of &#91;Covid-19&#93; infections and deaths,&quot; wrote Justice Moraes. Why it matters. As soon as Mr. Bolsonaro vented the possibility of banning restrictive measures, political actors said publicly that the Supreme Court and Congress would strike the decision down. The injunction is material evidence of the president's sheer political isolation. Protests. During the president's speech, many large urban centers reported cacerolazos (pot-banging protests), with cries for Mr. Bolsanaro's impeachment. In an upper-middle-class neighborhood in São Paulo, one woman's window was shot at as she called for Mr. Bolsonaro's ousting. Emergency salary starts being paid today The first installment of a three-month, BRL 600 (USD 117) emergency salary to informal workers will be paid out to beneficiaries today. The first in line for the cash are those who already have accounts in state-owned banks Caixa and Banco do Brasil. According to Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, 17 million Brazilians downloaded the app created by the government to help people enroll for the aid — and 10 million people have already been approved. In just 24 hours, the app &quot;Caixa Auxílio Emergencial&quot; became the most-downloaded app in Brazil, according to data from the Zurich-based market research firm 42Matters. Among the top 16 apps, five have some connection to government benefits. Why it matters. A survey by Data Favela and Locomotiva shows that 53 percent of families in favelas are earning less than half of their pre-coronavirus income. Only 26 percent can make ends meet for one month or more without government help. Still … The same survey shows that 71 percent of favela residents agree with social isolation matters — even if it hurts their bread-winning jobs. More than money. Besides the obvious financial strains, these areas suffer from a sheer lack of infrastructure to prevent Covid-19 infections: half of families don't have running water to wash their hands, while for 11 percent, soap is a luxury item. Spread. Four of Rio's biggest favelas have already seen six Covid-19 deaths. But the lack of access to proper healthcare makes the real number impossible to pinpoint. Is Bolsonaro losing the social media battle? Jair Bolsonaro would be the first to recognize that he was elected president with a helping hand from social media. After years carefully crafting his online following, Mr. Bolsonaro has gathered around himself a true &quot;digital militia&quot; — as some political analysts have called it — to champion his causes. Apparently, however, his magic is waning. His online reach has started to go down since last year — a natural movement as his follower base settles. But, as data from Fundação Getulio Vargas shows, opponents to the president have muffled his supporters in the online debate. In two weeks, Bolsonaro-backers went from being 12 percent of all coronavirus-related tweets to just 8 percent — while detractors grew from 16 to 18 percent. By the end of the month of March, tweets that are negative to the president drew much more engagement — in the form of likes and retweets — than those in support of him, according to data journalism platform Nucleo. Why it matters. Mr. Bolsonaro has shown a tendency to transform any issue into a culture war fought on social media. But perhaps his home-field advantage may be waning. Influence. More than once, the president has shown how the online debate can influence his policymaking. A few weeks ago, he signed off on a decree allowing companies to suspend contracts for four months — without any guaranteed compensation from the government. As the hashtag &quot;Genocidal Bolsonaro&quot; reached the top of Brazil's trending topics, he backed down. What else you need to know today Oil and gas. Brazil is being reportedly pressured into joining an agreement by Opec to cut down global oil production in a push to stabilize prices and put an end to recent market wars between oil-producing countries. The country's Mines and Energy Minister, Bento Albuquerque, had a meeting to discuss the matter with U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Another meeting, this time between G20 countries, is scheduled for Friday. The Brazilian government will attend and has reported it is in close contact with Saudi Arabia. Data privacy. Relatively unknown to Brazilians a few months ago, remote conferencing app Zoom has become one of the most-downloaded apps in Covid-19 Brazil. But reports of system vulnerabilities have led the Justice Ministry to open an investigation into how the company shares user data with third parties. The National Consumer Secretariat wants to understand whether Zoom notifies Facebook whenever a user logs in — as well as how user private data is being mined for directed ads. The California-based company has ten days to respond to an inquiry. Tourism. Brazil's tourism industry has lost BRL 14 billion in March alone (an 84-percent drop from March 2019), sector representatives say. According to estimates, Covid-19's impact on tourism jeopardizes at least 295,000 formal jobs, which could vanish in just three months. According to the National Confederation of Commerce, domestic flights are down 91 percent. Disease. On March 16, we at The Brazilian Report had alerted you to the risks South American nations were taking by focusing their attention solely on the coronavirus — as dengue fever had significantly advanced in the region. Now, health authorities have expressed their own concern. As flu season arrives, Brazil's hospitals could quickly be overburdened with three major outbreaks. In yesterday's Daily Briefing, we explained that the healthcare system in the northern state of Amazonas has already collapsed — and other states could soon follow." class="wp-image-35437" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list-1024x465.jpg 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list-300x136.jpg 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list-768x349.jpg 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list-610x277.jpg 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Apps-list.jpg 1805w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>42Matters</figcaption></figure> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> A survey by Data Favela and Locomotiva shows that 53 percent of families in favelas are earning less than half of their pre-coronavirus income. Only 26 percent can make ends meet for one month or more without government help.</p> <p><strong>Still … </strong>The same survey shows that 71 percent of favela residents <em>agree</em> with social isolation matters —&nbsp;even if it hurts their bread-winning jobs.</p> <p><strong>More than money. </strong>Besides the obvious financial strains, these areas suffer from a sheer lack of infrastructure to prevent Covid-19 infections: half of families don&#8217;t have running water to wash their hands, while for 11 percent, soap is a luxury item.</p> <p><strong>Spread.</strong> Four of Rio&#8217;s biggest favelas have already seen six Covid-19 deaths. But the lack of access to proper healthcare makes the real number impossible to pinpoint.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Is Bolsonaro losing the social media battle?</h2> <p>Jair Bolsonaro would be the first to recognize that he was elected president with a helping hand from social media. After years carefully crafting his online following, Mr. Bolsonaro has gathered around himself a true &#8220;digital militia&#8221; — as some political analysts have called it — to champion his causes. Apparently, however, his magic is waning.</p> <ul><li>His online reach has started to go down since last year —&nbsp;a natural movement as his follower base settles. But, as data from Fundação Getulio Vargas shows, opponents to the president have muffled his supporters in the online debate. In two weeks, Bolsonaro-backers went from being 12 percent of all coronavirus-related tweets to just 8 percent —&nbsp;while detractors grew from 16 to 18 percent.&nbsp;</li><li>By the end of the month of March, tweets that are negative to the president drew much more engagement — in the form of likes and retweets — than those in support of him, according to data journalism platform <a href="https://nucleo.jor.br/">Nucleo</a>.</li></ul> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-scatter" data-src="visualisation/1865427" data-url="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/1865427/embed"><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> <p><strong>Why it matters.</strong> Mr. Bolsonaro has shown a tendency to transform any issue into a culture war fought on social media. But perhaps his home-field advantage may be waning.</p> <p><strong>Influence.</strong> More than once, the president has shown how the online debate can influence his policymaking. A few weeks ago, he signed off on a <a href="https://brazilian.report/business/2020/03/23/bolsonaro-new-decree-comes-in-for-criticism/">decree allowing companies to suspend contracts</a> for four months — without any guaranteed compensation from the government. As the hashtag &#8220;Genocidal Bolsonaro&#8221; reached the top of Brazil&#8217;s trending topics, he backed down.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>What else you need to know today</h2> <ul><li><strong>Oil and gas.</strong> Brazil is being reportedly pressured into joining an agreement by Opec to <a href="https://brazilian.report/business/2020/03/10/2020-oil-crisis-disrupt-brazil-petrobras/">cut down global oil production</a> in a push to stabilize prices and put an end to <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/7d75b7fa-8966-461e-bae8-17e0a908dcd5">recent market wars</a> between oil-producing countries. The country&#8217;s Mines and Energy Minister, Bento Albuquerque, had a meeting to discuss the matter with U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Another meeting, this time between G20 countries, is scheduled for Friday. The Brazilian government will attend and has reported it is in close contact with Saudi Arabia.</li><li><strong>Data privacy.</strong> Relatively unknown to Brazilians a few months ago, remote conferencing app Zoom has become one of the most-downloaded apps in Covid-19 Brazil. But reports of system vulnerabilities have led the Justice Ministry to open an investigation into how the company shares user data with third parties. The National Consumer Secretariat wants to understand whether Zoom notifies Facebook whenever a user logs in —&nbsp;as well as how user private data is being mined for directed ads. The California-based company has ten days to respond to an inquiry.</li><li><strong>Tourism.</strong> Brazil&#8217;s tourism industry has lost BRL 14 billion in March alone (an 84-percent drop from March 2019), sector representatives say. According to estimates, Covid-19&#8217;s impact on tourism jeopardizes at least 295,000 formal jobs,&nbsp;which could vanish in just three months. According to the National Confederation of Commerce, domestic flights are down 91 percent.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Disease.</strong> On March 16, we at <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> had alerted you to the risks South American nations were taking by focusing their attention solely on the coronavirus — as <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-weekly/2020/03/16/america-bolsonaro-health-coronavirus-markets-dengue-fever/">dengue fever had significantly advanced in the region</a>. Now, health authorities have expressed their own concern. As flu season arrives, Brazil&#8217;s hospitals could quickly be overburdened with three major outbreaks. In <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-daily/2020/04/08/risks-loosening-isolation-measures-brazil-too-soon/">yesterday&#8217;s Daily Briefing</a>, we explained that the healthcare system in the northern state of Amazonas has already collapsed —&nbsp;and other states could soon follow.

Read the full story NOW!

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at contact@brazilian.report