Power

Political blame game hurts Brazil’s coronavirus strategy

Bolsonaro attempts to pass the buck onto state and municipal governments for social isolation measures. This posturing could claim thousands of lives

Political blame game hurts Brazil's coronavirus strategy
President Jair Bolsonaro with his wife, Michelle. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

Brazil has over 43,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, but the federal government’s strategy appears to be tampering with official data — or placing the blame on state governors and municipal mayors. While the president’s rejection rates have gone up in recent months, his strategy is working, as regional and local administrators have begun reopening their economies — just as Mr. Bolsonaro intended — even before their rates of daily new cases and deaths have decreased in any significant way. The president has created a toxic environment that, coupled with governors’ decision to put their electoral ambitions ahead of public health issues, could...

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