Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll surpasses 300,000 amid worst-yet virus surge
Brazil’s death toll in the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 300,000 Wednesday, as a deadly surge that has pushed hospitals to the brink made it the second country after the United States to pass the bleak milestone.
A total of 300,685 people in Brazil have now died of Covid-19, the health ministry said, as the country struggled to deal with an explosion of cases blamed on a local variant of the virus that is believed to be more contagious.
Brazil currently has the highest daily death toll in the pandemic by far. It has more than tripled since the start of the year, to an average of 2,273 for the past week.
The far-right president vowed no one would “politicize” the pandemic, after a meeting with the heads of both houses of Congress, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the central bank chief, most of his cabinet and six of Brazil’s 27 governors.
“The prevailing sentiment was solidarity and the commitment to minimize the effects of the pandemic,” Bolsonaro said at the presidential palace.
“Life comes first.”
He said the group had agreed to create a coordinating council with Brazil’s 27 governors, led by Senate speaker Rodrigo Pacheco.
He himself will convene a crisis committee that will meet weekly, he said.
The announcements appeared to do little to tame criticism of Bolsonaro, who has flouted expert advice on lockdowns and face masks, pushed a drug regimen he calls the “early treatment” package that scientists say does not work, and spoken out against vaccines.
Newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo accused the president of “lying” when he said his government had worked ceaselessly to fight the virus…..read more