The Ministry of Health of the government of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil reported on Thursday that another 844 people died in the country by COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 13,993.
Brazil, the Latin American epicenter of the pandemic, faces the growing advance of the disease amid a pulse between the governors and President Jair Bolsonaro, who is pressing to open even the country’s gyms and hairdressing salons.
While European countries have begun to bend the COVID-19 curve after months of hard confinement, Brazil is facing a sharp escalation, with a daily increase in deaths and confirmed cases of coronavirus (202,918), already outpacing Germany and France.
The flare-up of the disease has put Brazilian states in check, many of which are on the verge of sanitary collapse, and has forced the main regions of the country, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, to tighten traffic restrictions for contain contagions.
These measures have been strongly criticized by Bolsonaro, who has encouraged returning to work to “save the economy” under the argument that unemployment kills as much as the virus.
The retired ex-military man has placed in his sights the governors of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, two of the richest and most populous states in the country and main promoters of the quarantines, and has challenged them on several occasions, prolonging the battle. pandemic politics.
The crossfire flared up this week, when the president issued a decree to include gyms, beauty salons and barber shops as “essential services” that must continue to function despite the worsening crisis.
The decision was interpreted as pressure against the governors, since the Supreme Court ratified in April the autonomy of the states and municipalities to decide on social isolation measures.
Both the Governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, and the Governor of Rio, Wilson Witzel, followed the guidelines of the highest court and ignored the presidential decree, widening the gap that separates them from the head of state, who seems to be politically isolated.
Bolsonaro considers that the coronavirus is a “flu” that will affect 70% of the population and suggested that even he could have been infected in the “past”, although he has also insisted that “he never” had a coronavirus.
After a decision by the Supreme Court, Bolsonaro today published the results of the three examinations he underwent and all were negative.
The curious thing is that these analyzes, the results of which the president refused to disseminate despite guaranteeing that they had given a negative result, were carried out under the pseudonyms of “Airton Guedes” and “Rafael Augusto Alves da Costa Ferraz”, although in all cases they appear your identity card and tax registration number.
THE DOUBLE CRISIS OF BOLSONARO
In addition to the coronavirus crisis, Bolsonaro is mired in a serious political turmoil triggered by his former Minister of Justice Sergio Moro, who has accused him of trying to interfere politically in Federal Police investigations that could have spilled on his family.
The Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation that could put the head of state on the ropes, whose popularity has been hit during his first year and a half of mandate, going from 56% to 32% today.
One of the key pieces of said investigation is the video of a Bolsonaro meeting with a group of ministers in which, according to judicial sources, the president would have made it explicit that he intended to change the superintendent of the Federal Police in Rio de Janeiro to “protect his family ”of an alleged“ persecution ”.
In the framework of the process, the Ministers of the Presidency, Walter Braga Netto; Institutional Security, Augusto Heleno, and the Government Secretariat, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, who supposedly confirmed that Bolsonaro referred to the Federal Police during the meeting.
However, the ministers said that Bolsonaro wanted more information from the Federal Police to improve the government’s actions and did not request reports of specific investigations.
The head of state, however, flatly denies that the Federal Police was mentioned and today stated that Minister Ramos was “wrong” in giving a statement.
If the Prosecutor’s Office concludes that Bolsonaro exerted illegal political pressure, he could file a formal complaint with the Supreme Court, which in turn should request authorization from the Chamber of Deputies to initiate the corresponding process.
At that point, if an eventual complaint were accepted, Bolsonaro would be removed from office during the 180 days that the trial would last and replaced by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who would end the mandate that expires on January 1, 2023 if the ruler was found guilty. .
With information from EFE
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