Brazil Covid death toll tops 600,000. But the pandemic is receding

As vaccines become more widespread in Brazil, the spread of the coronavirus becomes less deadly. But experts warn that it remains too soon for a victory lap

covid deaths brazil 600k
Protesters in front of the presidential palace. They accuse Jair Bolsonaro of incompetence in dealing with the pandemic. Photo: Joédson Alves/EFE via Folhapress

Data compiled by the Health Ministry and local health officials show that Brazil has reached the mark of 600,000 confirmed deaths caused by Covid-19. The milestone is the result of structural issues which plague Brazil — such as its highly informal labor market which makes people dependent on the in-person economy — but also as a result of failed leadership.

The federal government, led by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, veered away from scientific consensus on almost every single major issue: from lockdowns and mask use to vaccines. The president encouraged people to gather without any protection against the...

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