After opposing social isolation measures — saying they would “kill jobs” even while saving lives — President Jair Bolsonaro is now going against one potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed in Brazil. He said the federal government will not endorse immunization from China — which Mr. Bolsonaro calls “that other country” — despite the fact that preliminary results show the Chinese-made CoronaVac has caused much fewer side effects than its competitors.
The president’s moves are calculated — and have everything to do with the 2022 election. We explain how.
And in the second part of the episode, the growing anti-vaccine movement in Brazil is showing parallels with the early 1900s, when Brazilians literally revolted against a mandatory vaccination campaign.
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On this episode:
- Andre Pagliarini was a visiting assistant professor of modern Latin American history at Brown University in 2018–2019 and is currently a lecturer at Dartmouth College. He is preparing a book manuscript on 20th-century Brazilian nationalism.
- Sidney Chalhoub is a Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
- Follow our continuous coverage of the coronavirus in Brazil on our Live Blog.
- Jair Bolsonaro’s relationship with Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello is strained over the potential Chinese coronavirus vaccine.
- The Brazilian way to deal with Covid-19 was a debacle. Euan Marshall shows how the country dealt with past epidemics.
- Anti-vax calls did not originate during the pandemic. Actually, the movement has been growing in Brazil (as we showed in episode #20) — and is allowing measles to make a comeback.
- Yellow fever threat haunts Brazil once more.
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