In 2017, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rosseló maintained for months that 64 “boricuas” had died in the storm. Then, as evidence and studies accumulated, he recognized that there had been almost 3,000.
Rosseló ended up resigning, but not for this crude manipulation of information. It fell in 2019 due to popular mobilization against corruption scandals and leaked homophobic conversations.
There are many differences between the Puerto Rican politician and Jair Bolsonaro. Prejudice, inhumanity, evidence of corruption and contempt for objective data did not shake him either as a candidate or as a president. Nothing sticks to it.
The facts, however, will still cross the path of the Bolsonaro family. It may take time, because your government raises a smokescreen around Covid-19 to better hide its own ineptitude in fighting the epidemic, exacerbated by the continuous presidential call for the resumption of agglomerations.
It's working. Although the peak of overload in the health system has not yet arrived, multiply caravans of supporters of the president demanding the reopening of trade. O social distance it recedes everywhere, including the epicenter of Covid-19, São Paulo.
In parallel, infections and deaths from the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus are out of control in the country, but it is not known how much. For that, it would be necessary to apply diagnostic tests in large quantities and publish the results. How many of these exams were performed in Brazil?
Nobody knows. Turn over the pages of the Ministry of Health and look for this information; will not find. With a little effort, you will discover that just over 2 million detection kits had been distributed by Friday (17).
The Our World in Data page lists test information from 71 countries, from Australia to Vietnam, but not from Brazil. Even from Ethiopia it is known that 5,389 exams were carried out there until the 16th.
The federal government daily updates the number of cases and deaths, respectively 38,654 and 2,462 until Sunday (19), data released only on the network, without a press conference, and it is a falsehood recognized by all.
This was almost two months after the first Brazilian case was confirmed. Luiz Henrique Mandetta left with fame as a ministry hero, but it has a part in this incompetence latifundium led by Bolsonaro. Chile and Peru do a lot more tests than São Paulo, for example.
The president seems to believe that the political burden of dozens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths, will fall on the governors, not on him. Only the electoral calculation matters to the quick-witted man capable of minimizing the pandemic that has already killed 160,000 people and of exchanging the Minister of Health (only reasonable, it should be said) for an unknown Akkatian tutored by the military.
Governors who today pose as cool, like João Doria (PSDB-SP) and Wilson Witzel (PSC-RJ), also have responsibility for the fiasco in accounting for Covid-19 cases. Without it, they act like silly cockroaches, unable to rationally plan the allocation of resources and to measure the effectiveness of their own actions.
Bolsonaro, however, bears the greatest blame for the blind flight, after omitting the obligation to lead and coordinate efforts to monitor and control the progress of the coronavirus. Mandetta rehearsed to do it, with delays and unsatisfactory shortcomings, while the president sabotaged all initiatives.
It remains only for Planalto to continue betting on confusion, omitting, delaying or manipulating data about the real dimension of Covid-19. There will be more deaths, as Captain Corona likes to say, unmoved by the murders of the vernacular, decency and countrymen – and all of them will be yours, sooner (before 2022) or later (after 2022).