Back in July, digital influencer Felipe Neto published an op-ed video on The New York Times, arguing that Donald Trump isn’t the worst pandemic president, and that the inglorious title belonged instead to Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. The YouTube personality joined a substantial crowd of critics — among them politicians, economists, and health experts — who denounce Mr. Bolsonaro’s nonchalance vis-à-vis the coronavirus. “He shows no sign of taking the crisis seriously,” said Mr. Neto.
And despite the overwhelming criticism — and no shortage of evidence of the Brazilian government’s ineptitude to manage a sanitary and economic crisis — Mr. Bolsonaro felt safe enough to say last week that no other administration in the world has fought the pandemic better than his. “It makes us proud. It shows that there are people who are talented and concerned, especially with the poorest, the most humble,” said the president. His self-aggrandizement, however, completely disregards coronavirus success cases such as South Korea or New Zealand.