Main menu

The Coronavirus-Denial Movement Now Has a Leader

March 27, 2020

He’s described the illness as a “little flu,” a trifling “cold.” He’s accused the media of manufacturing “hysteria—even as confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, soar to well over half a million and deaths to roughly 25,000 worldwide. The coronavirus-denial movement officially has a leader, and it’s Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro...

“Bolsonaro is genuinely concerned about the impact a long quarantine would have on the economy, especially in a country like Brazil where so many people just barely get by on a day-to-day basis,” Brian Winter, the editor in chief of Americas Quarterly, told me in an email. “Street vendors can’t work from home.” That’s a tough balance to strike for any policy maker, Winter noted. About a quarter of the country’s population of more than 200 million live in poverty. “We know that deep recessions can kill people too,” he wrote...

“I personally hope that Trump and Bolsonaro get to stand on a stage two months from now and have a big Make Brazil Great Again rally where they mock all the haters and snowflakes for blowing the virus out of proportion,” Winter told me. “Because that will mean we all got through this without tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths. But unfortunately I have my doubts.”

Read the full article.