Why Brazilians Are Demanding President Bolsonaro Step Down
Brazil has emerged as among the worst-hit nations by the Covid19 pandemic. It has had 16 million infection cases and at least 460,000 people have died.
Most of the deaths could have been prevented, but, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro's instead chose to downplay the virus to safeguard his economic interests. Bolsonaro's criminal negligence and aggressive rhetoric against medical experts helped sabotaged an appropriate response to the virus. He has routinely railed against lockdowns, mask-wearing, and compared the virus to the flu.
A recent congressional probe has revealed The Bolonaro government's level of neglect and incompetence that sabotaged negotiations with drug companies, relations with other countries, and supply chain management. In 2020, Pfizer offered to set aside as many as 70 million doses of the vaccine, and Bolsonaro's Health Ministry ignored them. Pfizer’s global chief put the offer in writing to President Jair Bolsonaro with copies to the vice president, chief of staff, ministers of health and economy and the ambassador to the U.S. and still was ignored.
Carla Domingues, who ran Brazil’s national immunization program, said had Brazil signed agreements last year it could have been vaccinating 2 million people a day. Instead, while some parts of the world are putting the pandemic behind them, in Brazil at least 2,000 people are dying daily; ingredients are running low, and now health officials fear a third wave.
Bolsonaro also personally intervened sabotaging negotiations for other vaccines, including CoronaVac which was delayed for months, allowing a more aggressive variant of the virus to emerge in the country. The congressional probe is expected to last for months. Meanwhile, protests have broken out throughout Brazil, demanding Jair Bolsonaro step down from the Presidency. Tens of thousands of people in Brazil staged protests against President Bolsonaro, chanting "Bolsonaro genocide" or "Go away Bolsovirus." Rallies have been held across major cities, the latest in a wave of anger against Bolsonaro that began months ago.
Protesters said, "We must stop this government. We must say 'enough is enough' "He is a murderer, a psychopath. He has no feelings. He does not feel, as we do. He cannot perceive the disaster that he is causing." Bolsonaro's current approval rating has plummeted to a record low of 24 percent. With elections coming soon to Brazil, he is expected to lose.