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Brazil: Pot-banging protests in wealthy areas against Bolsonaro's response to COVID-19 as economic meltdown becomes inevitable

"Brazilians protest over Bolsonaro's muddled coronavirus response", 22 Mar 2020

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is facing an intensifying public backlash after his muddled reaction to the coronavirus crisis sparked five successive nights of protests and predictions that his political authority had sustained a potentially fatal blow.

Brazil has recorded 1,128 coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, with the country’s health minister last week saying the public health system was likely to collapse by the end of April.

But Bolsonaro has continued to downplay the pandemic...

Bolsonaro has come under heavy fire from Brazilian media and political opponents for what they call his reckless and inept behaviour...

Bruno Boghossian, a columnist for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper said... [T]his week’s pot-banging protests had been highly symbolic rather than huge in scale.

But, strikingly, they had taken place in wealthy areas that overwhelmingly backed Bolsonaro in 2018 because of anger with the left.

"I think damage has already been done because people will remember – now and forever – how the president behaved as the seriousness of this [pandemic] became clear in Brazil.”

Boghossian said Bolsonaro had long believed his presidency was “bullet-proofed” by expectations that Brazil’s economy would improve under his administration. “The problem is that economic meltdown is [now] inevitable,” he said.

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