Explaining Brazil #151: Testing Bolsonaro’s endurance

The Covid hearings have exposed a laundry list of malfeasance by the Bolsonaro administration during the pandemic. Will that be enough to bring him down, though?

The Senate’s inquiry into the Jair Bolsonaro administration’s pandemic response is now fully underway, but it started not with a bang, but with a whimper. However, while we have yet to see any bombastic revelations so far, the hearings committee’s first depositions paint an unflattering picture of a president with little regard for science,  who was willing to risk thousands of lives to keep his political support intact.

Many hope this inquiry will be the silver bullet that leads to Bolsonaro’s impeachment, or destroys his reputation ahead of the 2022 election, making him a beatable opponent.

Will that strategy pay off? Or will Bolsonaro once again display his electoral resilience and come out on top? 

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  • Filipe Campante is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is interested in political economy, development economics, and urban/regional issues. His research looks at what constrains politicians and policymakers beyond formal checks and balances: cultural norms, institutions, media, political protest.

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