Coronavirus (1262) Policymakers and health misinformation (41) "The main problem that Brazil faces in combating the pandemic is the president of Brazil" (2)

5 May, 2021

Perhaps President Bolsonaro and other heads of state who have ignored the science will, after all, be held accountable for their actions...

From the Financial Times. Read online: https://www.ft.com/content/77cf362a-8af4-4d4f-8774-a5c5b69d1634

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Brazil’s influential business community has hit out at President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing pressure on the populist leader as the country’s death toll mounts.

Bolsonaro’s down playing of the crisis and refusal to implement a nationwide lockdown, long criticised by opponents on the left, is increasingly irking the country’s financial sector, which backed the former army captain when he ran for president in 2018.

Hundreds of prominent business leaders, including a former central bank chief, some of Brazil’s richest bankers, and economists on Sunday signed an open letter to the Brazilian government, demanding it take stronger action to speed up vaccinations and encourage the use of face masks.

Without naming Bolsonaro, they attacked “the country’s highest political leadership” for ignoring science, encouraging crowds, backing unproven treatments and “flirting with the anti-vaccine movement”...

“Despite being part of the financial system, these people are fed up with Bolsonaro, with the way he has conducted the pandemic, with the way he conducts his government. It is a disaster. He has been a disaster,” said Mailson da Nobrega, a former finance minister, who signed the letter...

Ilan Goldfajn, the former head of Brazil’s central bank, told the Financial Times: “What’s most important is that governments should follow science and exercise the necessary leadership to fight the pandemic...

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org