The death toll in Brazil has risen well over 450,000 since the outset of the Covid-19 crisis and the livelihoods of so many more have been wrecked.
Facing one of the worst economic recessions in the country’s history, millions of Brazilians remain unemployed and hungry as businesses crash, and inflation reaches a new height.
“It is the new lost decade, worse than what we had in the 1980s,” says Claudio Considera, economist and coordinator of the National Accounts Center at Getulio Vargas Foundation.
Brazil has moved form one economic struggle to another since the crisis of the 1980’s
While the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2019 did little to right Brazil’s path toward economic growth. Economic reforms including privatizing state-run industries, labor and pension reforms failed to remedy rampant unemployment and inflation. Then the pandemic hit.
Since the outset of Covid-19 in Brazil, the federal has laid out policies that go against restrictions “at all costs,” with the hope of braving the pandemic and limit its effects on the economy.
On May 15, 2020, President Bolsonaro gave a press conference declaring that lockdown measures would be “a pathway to [economic] failure.”
Nearly a year later, on February 23, he emphasized, “This lockdown story, the ‘we are going to close everything’, is not the way. This is the path to failure. It will break Brazil.”
In March, Bolsonaro even asked Brazil´s state prosecutor to file a request to the country’s Supreme Court to prevent governors and local officials from imposing lockdowns. When the court dismissed the case, Bolsonaro told supporters that “chaos is coming. Hunger will push people out of their houses, we will have problems that we never expected to have, very serious social problems.”
And just like clockwork, millions of Brazilians suffer today due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreso, through the President’s actions or inactions.