COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil

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The COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil is part of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Brazil on 25 February 2020.

Quotes[edit]

  • A South American country, a cult leader, a drug and the deaths of thousands of fanatic followers may sound like the tragic story of the Jonestown Massacre. But these details could just as well serve as the introduction to another devastating chapter in Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's administration, as he leads Brazil into chaos amid the coronavirus pandemic. The eerie parallels between the Rev. Jim Jones and Bolsonaro recall the old adage that history repeats itself — first as tragedy, then as farce.
  • The mass suicide at Jonestown was the final episode of this tragic story — the end result of a personality cult around Jones, a paranoid narcissist. Jim Jones was enthralling, persuasive and power-hungry. He thrived on attention, adoration and adulation. He was equal parts bully and charmer. Such a description could be equally applicable to Jair Bolsonaro, who maintains the devotion of his base by engaging in inflammatory rhetoric, reactionary policies, and racist dog-whistles — a behavior that echoes a cult mentality.
  • The similarities between Jones and Bolsonaro reside in their use of outlets to belittle, mock and bully their opponents. Bolsonaro constantly points new enemies to his fervent followers as a way to keep them united and motivated to fight for him. Anyone that criticizes or disagrees with Bolsonaro is considered an enemy, and every effort to shut them down is justified.
  • Just before Jones decreed mass suicide, he told his followers to "stop these hysterics," using the same terminology that Bolsonaro invokes to assail preventive coronavirus measures. But instead of drinking cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid to stop the hysteria, Bolsonaro has been urging people to take hydroxychloroquine, a drug that hasn't been fully tested in treating COVID-19, and giving people a false impression of being contagion-safe so they can go back to work. As Brazil's COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600, Bolsonaro is doubling down on his manipulation tactics and motivates his followers to go out in the streets to protest against isolation measures. This brings his own "necropolitics" to a whole new level — in which his political actions are also centralized on the large scale production of the death of his own base — thus setting the stage for a tragedy greater than Jonestown.

External links[edit]

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