Brazil's President Downplays Pandemic Despite Rising Cases In His Hometown
Acknowledges this or not. President Trump leaves office next month with an awful statistic attached to the last year of his administration. The number of Americans who have died from the coronavirus The U. S. Has led the world for months in covert 19 deaths behind the U. S. Is Brazil, but so far the pandemic has done little damage to the standing of its president. Joy your Bolson Aro. The latest coronavirus hot spot is his hometown Rio. Deja, narrow. NPR's Philip Reeves is there and sends this report. Wear outside a bar below the Sugarloaf Mountain. Thies drinkers don't seem worried by this city's new surgeon deaths or the growing waiting list for beds. Hundreds of mass close people crowd together. The only bubbles here are in beer glasses when the pandemic began, most people in this part of Rio tried to follow the rules. Closed businesses and stayed home. Medical experts approved Brazil's president president did did not not broke broke apart apart point point My My sure sure Jacob Jacob Ostinato Ostinato downplayed downplayed the the Corona Corona virus virus from from the the start. start. His His chest chest ized ized governors governors and and mayors mayors for closing local economies. He surged Brazilians not to be cities. Everyone has to die sometime, he says. When Brazil's death count rose above 5000 back in April. Also not a was asked to comment. Okay, let me get prosecuted so well, the president replied. Sorry. What you want me to do about it? That number is now above 190,000 Thea. Other day, Boss Narrow, addressed a packed crowd of supporters. He didn't wear a mask, nor did most of them. In Rio shot A Marcus watches both scenarios conduct with alarm that's led you those are the epitome it off of there, like a market is a community leader here in seduction, today's or city of God, It's one of Rio's many for Bella's about 1.5 million people live in them, They're often pour over crowded neighborhoods neglected by government. When covert arrived, Marcus and his fellow activists decided the city of God must protect itself. Those introducing the six inch think faith. We launched the social media information campaign, explains Marcus. He handed out masks and went door to door urging residents to socially distance. You said back out of the temple market, says his mission became harder after Boston Otto called the Corona virus a little flu. Both Granados stands since the beginning, absolutely pushed people to think there was nothing going on. It wasn't serious or they didn't need to do anything that I said Williamson is from catalytic communities along profit that supports community development in for Bella's. She says, when someone who must work to survive here's both scenarios messaging. She just thinks, okay, well, if the direction from the top is that there's no big deal, then I can go back to business. As usual, Williamson's organization runs a project tracking covert cases in the favelas. It's long, several 1000 deaths, but condition too tough and getting reliable data is difficult. I don't trust the numbers at all. Just don't the true picture is likely, much worse. Got it inspects units downtown toe. Williamson recently chaired an online conference in which people from for Bella's talked about what they're going through now, my only a disguise his name look a sugar, which our people are dying at home because they can't get healthcare, says A woman called Anna Paulus. Alice Ela says, C'mon, I opened is seen amiable, another handle a local service. Says she lost five friends to covet in one week. When both scenario took office, many commentators derided him as a know nothing. Retired Army captain from the far right, that's wrong, says Marcus Nobly, He's Glover. Of course, his clever he's clever in his cunning. Nobody has written a book about bullshit, narrow and is one of his faces critics. Let's get rid off this discourse that postal nado is dumb that both tomorrow is crazy. He doesn't strategy. You think that he's stupid? He's not both the knowledge popularity has actually gone up since the pandemic began. He made a bet that despite the thousands of deaths at the end of it, Brazilians will care about their jobs. All of the stone cool is professor of international relations at the Should Tulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, Even though his strategy can be considered to be morally reprehensible, you know, from an electoral point of view. It's actually quite effective. Both scenarios. Unexpected popularity also has a lot to do with money worried about soaring unemployment, his government's funding the most costly welfare program in Brazil's history. It's making emergency payments to 65 million of the poorest Brazilians. Well, God, by shown on that plan was in fact approved by Congress. Yet the president's getting the credit while other side's going there, Jenny, Although President Chinese there was another, it was a brilliant idea says You've done the same thing. Silver sells coconuts and cocktails. On a beach in Rio called Prive Amillia. He was stuck at home for several months because his beach was closed by Cove it when we do we've got step Gordon Carter. That was really tough, He says. Emergency payments about $120 a month. Helped his family survive that silver used to be a leftist, You know? God, I miss you both on audio. If we my everyday my Jamie. He says that the next election, both Sanada gets his boat real dish. Nero is now gearing up for the new year in an unusually subdued mood. Normally, there's this to look forward to a massive New Year's Eve party for more than a million people on Copacabana beach that's canceled. Most here are waiting for the vaccine. Even that is a source of friction with boss and arrow. Medical experts want as many Brazilians as possible to be vaccinated. The president's critics say he seems to want the opposite. Bull scenario has said mandatory vaccinations off a dog's, which you will know what time I was here, he says. He won't be having one it punch it up. And that's that.