The World Health Organization announced it is suspending all trials on chloroquine after a recent study published by medical journal Lancet buried any hope chloroquine could lead to the end of the pandemic. But that hasn’t dissuaded President Jair Bolsonaro one tiny bit, and Brazil will continue using the antimalarial medicine in tests.
Meanwhile, Brazil is widely regarded as the world’s new Covid-19 epicenter — already registering more new daily deaths than any other country, despite its limited testing capacity.Support this podcast →
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On this episode:
- Rosana Richtmann is an infectious disease specialist at the Emilio Ribas Institute, in São Paulo — an institution that is now working exclusively with Covid-19 patients. Dr. Richtmann holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Freiburg, in Germany. She is also a member of the Brazilian Infectiology Society and has been a leading voice against misinformation about contagious diseases and vaccination.
- Follow our Covid-19 Live Blog coverage.
- President Jair Bolsonaro is the number one defender of chloroquine in the world. Against recommendations from medical associations, the Health Ministry moved to distribute chloroquine nationwide.
- Chloroquine, however, is not the first unproven drug to be touted by the Brazilian president.
- State prosecutors in Minas Gerais, Goiás, and Piauí have adopted measures to increase the availability of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, supported by the Health Ministry recommendation of adoption, regardless of scientific evidence proving the drug’s lack of efficacy in treating Covid-19.
- Learn more about David Raoult, the renegade scientist behind hydroxychloroquine. (Esquire)
Explaining Brazil is made by:
- Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
- Euan Marshall, editing. Euan is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.
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