Correspondent in Sao Paulo
Brazil surpassed half a million deaths from the coronavirus this weekend, and more than 100,000 Brazilians took to the streets of 20 capitals calling for the removal of President Jair Bolsonaro and blaming him for that number, which is one of the worst in the world, the second highest after the United States. The call of # 19JForaBolsonaro, has been the second major march against the government in less than a month and brought crowds to the streets, despite fears of a third wave of the virus. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has described the death of more than half a million people as “genocide” and has denounced that they have died “from a disease that already has a vaccine.”
On Paulista Avenue, a traditional framework of protests, a tide of people, wearing masks and trying to keep their distance, occupied more than 10 blocks of that road with posters that cited the sad record of deaths and repeating slogans against the Bolsonaro government, which this being investigated in the Senate due to its omission, its delay of almost six months in the purchase of vaccines, and for supplying the health system with dewormers and remedies without scientific verification against the coronavirus.
“Vaccine in the arm and food on the plate” was one of the phrases most repeated by the protesters in São Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Porto Alegre, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, where the largest marches were recorded. The protesters complained about the delay in vaccines, the economic crisis and the cases of corruption carried out by Bolsonaro and his sons, accused of deviations and moving a fake news machine.
«You will soon see politicians, artists and journalists lamenting the death toll of 500,000. You will never see them celebrate 86 million doses applied or the 18 million cured, because the tone is always that of the worse, the better. Unfortunately, they encourage the virus ”, declared on his Twitter the Minister of Communications, Fabio Faría, in a message on behalf of the Government, which was poorly received. “Doesn’t anyone comment on the other buildings that remained standing on September 11?” The journalist Márvio dos Anjos questioned the minister.
In a harsh editorial against Bolsonaro, the newscast with the highest audience in Brazil, the Jornal Nacional de TV Globo, paid tribute to the more than 500,000 victims of the pandemic. “The insistent and stubborn commitment to ineffective drugs, the frequent promotion of crowds, the denial and inconsistent attitude of not wearing masks and, worst of all, the refusal to sign vaccine purchase contracts on time to avoid even more fatalities” , the presenter William Bonner read without citing the name of the president, but making clear his responsibility in that tragedy. “There will be consequences,” underlined the most famous journalist in Brazil.
Brazil y EE.UU.
In an interview with the newspaper O Globo, Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, in the United States, already foresees that his country must surpass the North American even having a smaller population. In March, Nicolelis had calculated that Brazil would reach that number on July 19, a month later. Brazil has 212 million inhabitants, and more than 500,000 deaths, while the United States registers 601,000 victims with a population of 328 million. And in the midst of all this, Brazil plays soccer. The America’s Cup already has more than 50 infected people, only those who are directly involved, “said Nicolelis, who believes that the country is already experiencing a third wave of the disease, with a potential for fatality similar to the second.
“With the winter, with the relaxation of the isolation, the lack of adequate growth from the application of the second dose of the vaccine, we can return to the levels we had in March in the coming weeks, or get very close to it. It is as if Brazil had given up fighting the pandemic at this time, “explains the scientist about an uncontrolled crisis whose numbers continue to multiply.
Comparing the two countries, Nicolelis attributes the successful control of the pandemic in the United States to vaccination, which has already fully immunized 44% of the population, while Brazil has only given two doses of injections to 11.45% of the inhabitants. For the doctor, it would be necessary to vaccinate at least 2 million people a day (more than the current double), to face the increase that is already affecting the capacity of hospitals again.
The biggest efforts for vaccination are being led by governors and mayors who are constantly attacked by Bolsonaro. In Rio de Janeiro, Mayor Eduardo Paes promised to vaccinate those over 18 years of age with the first dose until August, in a city of almost 7 million. The governor of São Paulo, João Doria, promised the same until September in his gigantic state, where almost 45 million people live.
Doria, by the way, has been one of the main leaders against the pandemic in Brazil, in opposition to Bolsonaro. Under his management, the Butantan Institute has been producing, in partnership with the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, the Brazilian Coronavac vaccine, with which the national vaccination program began in March. This vaccine has been the brand used in more than half of the immunizations carried out in Brazil.