The Bolsonaro government’s recent decision to stop releasing data on the COVID-19 pandemic as the death toll surges above 40,000 has caused an international uproar and deepened domestic discontent. A DataPoder360 survey, published on June 11 showed that the sum of those who see the administration of Jair Bolsonaro as “regular” (22%) or “bad or awful” (47%) have become the large majority.
Bolsonaro has isolated himself internationally and even his main ally, U.S. President Donald Trump, has criticized the way in which he has dealt with the pandemic – not without first sending two million doses of Hydroxychloroquine, a treatment that the global far right has promoted as a miracle cure for the disease despite the lack of a medical consensus. With approval ratings in free fall, but still maintaining a base of about 30% of Brazilians, the Brazilian president has increasingly moved to the far right.
As his popularity wanes, Bolsonaro relies more and more on the support of ultraright groups and social media activists. Several of the most prominent among them are being investigated by Congress and the Supreme Court for spreading fake news and hate speech and attacking institutions. They advocate for violent repression of left-wing activists and count among their ranks growing fascist and neo-Nazi activists and groups. Some have openly called for a military coup d’état and a regimen of violent repression of Brazil’s black and indigenous populations.
Full article at Counterpunch’s website. Date of publication: 01/07/2020.
*Originally published at America’s Program website on June 11, 2020.