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Numbers of the week: July 25, 2020

. Jul 25, 2020
jobs elections coronavirus deaths fake news UN charter coronavirus deaths Health Ministry data, economic reopening ... Brazil's numbers this week

This is Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week’s topics: Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll, the government not spending its Covid-19 budget, former Minister Mandetta in the game for 2022 elections, Brazil’s “voice of football” turns 70, the effects of inequality during the pandemic, chloroquine believers, Congress’ lord of the rings, overspending amid the crisis. 

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55 days of silence for each Covid-19 death

If Brazilians

were to hold a minute&#8217;s silence for each person killed by Covid-19 in the country, it would go on for 55 full days. With more than 85,238 Covid-19 deaths and another 2.3 million cases, Brazil has the second-highest tallies in the world, behind only the U.S. Even President Jair Bolsonaro has been infected with the coronavirus, though he continues to advocate for the use of anti-malaria drug chloroquine as a potential cure — despite a lack of scientific evidence.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>51 percent&nbsp;</h2> <p>On average 51 percent of coronavirus patients in private hospitals survive, compared to only 34 percent in public hospitals. This shows how the pandemic has highlighted the staggering inequality that continues to define Brazilian society at every turn. The divide between rich and poor is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the difference between those who can afford private healthcare and those dependent on the public <a href="https://brazilian.report/business/2020/04/27/brazil-unify-public-private-healthcare-systems/">healthcare system</a>. Only 47 million Brazilians — less than 20 percent of the population — have private healthcare plans.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>29 percent of the budget&nbsp;</h2> <p>The much-criticized Brazilian Health Ministry is facing heat once again after a report by the Federal Accounts Court — an audit tribunal which monitors public spending — showed that the department used only 29 percent of its emergency coronavirus budget. A special budgetary unit of BRL 38.9 billion (USD 7.6 billion) to deal with the Covid-19 crisis was created back in March, when the <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/preparedness/pandemic/en/">World Health Organization</a> declared a pandemic. Until June 25 — when infections were over 1.2 million and deaths in Brazil topped 55,000 — only BRL 11.4 billion had been effectively used.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>18 percent of chloroquine believers</h2> <p>Almost one in five Brazilian citizens believe that hydroxychloroquine — an antimalarial drug with no proven efficacy against the coronavirus — is the cure for Covid-19. The number was put out by Marcos Calliari, head of polling institute Ipsos Brazil. According to him, Brazil has the second-highest rate of believers among 16 surveyed countries, behind India, where 37 percent trust in chloroquine. But there’s more: the research also revealed a group of 7 percent that sees some kind of healing power in… garlic. <a href="https://brazilian.report/podcast/2020/05/27/chloroquine-bolsonaros-miracle-cure-for-covid-19-podcast/">President Bolsonaro</a> is one of those 18 percent.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 2 billion overspending&nbsp;</h2> <p>An investigation by the Federal Comptroller’s Office has revealed massive overspending in Brazil’s anti-coronavirus effort. Auditors identified nearly BRL 2 billion (USD 371 million) unlawfully spent on protective personal equipment and hospitals’ operating costs. The figure is the accumulated total for 19,700 contracts in states, capital cities, and other large urban centers scrutinized back in March when the pandemic arrived in Brazil. <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> has explored the <a href="https://brazilian.report/latin-america/2020/05/27/covid-19-creates-a-corruption-pandemic-in-latin-america/">corruption scandals that emerged during the pandemic</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2022 elections&nbsp;</h2> <p>Former Health Minister <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2020/04/14/luiz-henrique-mandetta-brazil-health-minister-time-being/">Luiz Henrique Mandetta</a> could run for president in Brazil&#8217;s 2022 elections. He admitted his intentions during an interview with BandNews TV, saying that “if [his political party] believes in the same thing I do, I will run.” The idea of Mr. Mandetta potentially throwing his hat into the ring for the top job came about during his time as Health Minister. As Mr. Bolsonaro stuck to his denialist speech during the pandemic, Mr. Mandetta became a voice of reason inside an otherwise chaotic government. Suddenly, his approval ratings climbed higher than the president&#8217;s, leading Mr. Bolsonaro to<a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2020/04/19/legacy-mandetta-leave-health-ministry/">&nbsp;fire him</a> and <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2020/04/17/bolsonaro-breaks-brazil-most-powerful-parties/">cut ties with Mr. Mandetta&#8217;s Democratas</a> party.&nbsp;</p> <p>A <a href="https://brazilian.report/coronavirus-brazil-live-blog/2020/07/24/poll-projects-bolsonaro-as-favorite-in-all-2022-election-scenarios/">recent poll</a>, however, places Mr. Bolsonaro as a head-and-shoulders favorite for the 2022 elections.</p> <iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/7tPDRSKCopOSVxqbrAmC3Q" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>70 years old</h2> <p>If you enjoy Brazilian football, you will almost certainly recognize the voice of Galvão Bueno, one of Brazil&#8217;s most famous sports commentators. This week he turned 70 years old with a history of iconic television moments, such as hugging Pelé when Brazil won its fourth <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CC6VKl8nFSH/">World Cup in 1994</a>, screaming &#8220;É Tetra! É Tetra!&#8221;, a scene etched on the memory of every Brazilian.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>80 golden rings</h2> <p>In exchange for votes for his House speaker election bid, lawmaker Capitão Augusto offered fellow members of the gun rights caucus gold plated rings. He called his peculiar idea a “simple courtesy.” According to the newspaper O Globo, the Congressmen will deliver at least 80 rings. He has already distributed gun-shaped pens and even tie-clips. In both cases, Mr. Augusto didn’t reveal how much they cost. In Brazil, <a href="https://brazilian.report/opinion/2020/02/03/bolsonaro-buying-support-congress/">vote-buying is not just commonplace, it&#8217;s largely legal</a>.&nbsp;

 
Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs—specializing Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

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