• Jun Park

Brazil : Dangerous behavior signals things to come

There is no doubt that Brazil's leader Jair Bolsonaro has captured the media attention with his defiance against recommendations by his own former health minister which culminated in the firing of the minister due to his defiance during press briefings and public health recommendations.

Now, things have escalated as the President participated in a protest which supports military intervention to stop the social-distancing measures and quarantines with posters reading "military intervention with Bolsonaro now!" and to defend AI-5 (Institutional act number 5) which shut down congress in 1968 during its military dictatorship.

Bolsonaro stood in front of the crowd without a mask and gave a speech which endorsed the protest and the right to fight for their country and freedom. In an awkward moment he was interrupted by a coughing crisis in the middle of his speech.

With almost 2,500 deaths and more than 38,000 cases, it is concerning to see how a President is defiant of all the measures that most countries around the world are trying to adopt and control this pandemic.

His speech:

I'm here because I believe in you and you are here because you believe in Brazil. Stop with the old politics. Now it is about Brazil and God above all. You have the obligation to fight for your country. Count on your president to do everything necessary so we can maintain the democracy and guarantee that which is more sacred to us which is our freedom.

With the type of leadership that considers a global pandemic with 2.4 million infected and 165,000 confirmed deaths a little cold, what kind of preparations can we expect to take place in Brazil?

If a military intervention does go in effect to shut down the congress, what will happen with the pandemic in Brazil?

With one of the few strongmen leaders left which have not taken strong measures against this pandemic is apparently ready to double-down on this strategy. One can only hope that Brazil's congress and local leadership are able to maintain their position against their Federal leadership.

One thing is for sure, if this type of support increases protests in the country, we can expect the pandemic to only grow faster.