Bolsonaro has been ignoring the devastation being caused by coronavirus while dead bodies pile up in Brazil.
By Rakesh Raman
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – who behaves as a dictator – has threatened to withdraw Brazil’s membership from the World Health Organization (WHO), as the death toll from coronavirus (Covid-19) increases rapidly in the country.
With nearly 650,000 Covid cases and over 35,000 deaths as of June 6, Brazil now stands at No. 2 after the U.S. in terms of number of cases and the country recorded 1,000 daily deaths for the fourth consecutive day on Friday (June 5).
Many believe that Bolsonaro is solely responsible for Covid deaths in Brazil because he lifted the lockdown restrictions despite repeated warnings from health experts against such a move.
Since coronavirus is spreading rapidly in all those countries that have lifted the lockdown restrictions, WHO has warned against reopening before containing the spread of the virus. And since Brazil is a defaulting nation, Bolsonaro has chosen to target WHO for his own follies.
Instead of reimposing the lockdown and save Brazilian lives, Bolsonaro is still adamant to lift restrictions with the unfounded argument that the economic costs of lockdown outweigh public health risks.
GENOCIDE IN BRAZIL
Earlier, in May, a slew of global celebrities had warned that the coronavirus infection will cause genocide in Brazil if despotic President Bolsonaro kept ignoring the havoc that the virus is wreaking in the South American country.
In an open letter on May 3, a number of celebrities had told Bolsonaro that if he did not take preventive action, coronavirus will lead to genocide of the indigenous communities during mining. The letter was signed among others by leading Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, U.S. TV host Oprah Winfrey, and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
The letter claimed that indigenous communities in the Amazon are at risk of being “completely eliminated” by miners who have increased their operations during the health crisis and operating in areas in which they should not be allowed to work.
But Bolsonaro is not perturbed. When a journalist reminded him of deaths in Brazil, Bolsonaro stubbornly retorted, “So what?”
Bolsonaro has been ignoring the devastation being caused by coronavirus while dead bodies pile up in the city of Manaus, northern Brazil. According to reports, the local health system has collapsed and gravediggers are burying the dead in mass graves known as “trenches.” Reuters said in its report: “Soon, the city may run out of coffins.”
A former army officer Bolsonaro – who openly admires dictatorships – never took the virus threats seriously and allowed thousands of people to die in his country, while his supporters protested on roads against the social-distancing and quarantine rules which were never enforced lawfully.
Bolsonaro’s political opponents fear that in order to usurp complete power Bolsonaro might declare military takeover, as he has hinted in his rallies where he denounces democratic form of government.
With his authoritarianism during the Covid crisis, Bolsonaro has also antagonized world leaders because the unchecked coronavirus contagion in Brazil will affect other parts of the world where Brazilians will travel in future.
But Brazil is not the only country where the autocrats have caused more mayhem than the coronavirus itself. In India, for example, the authoritarian ruler Narendra Modi is concealing the actual coronavirus data while independent research reports suggest that India already has over one million coronavirus cases and the infection will eventually reach 20% of the population or nearly 300 million (30 crore) people. Now, India has become the epicenter of coronavirus infection which will spread from here to other parts of the world.
Instead of using the auditable government accounts to collect donations to combat coronavirus, Modi is collecting huge funds under a dubious personal account called “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).” As the Modi government is highly corrupt, there is a possibility of misappropriation of public money.
Moreover, under the cover of coronavirus lockdowns, Modi and his government are committing large-scale atrocities on people who demand their rights in India. According to a recent report by Amnesty International India, the Government of India’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and free speech is leading to the arrest of journalists, activists, lawyers, and students under repressive laws and being sent to overcrowded prisons which are potential Covid-19 hotspots. This crackdown during the pandemic puts their lives at immediate risk, Amnesty says.
Moreover, according to a new report released by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India is among a dozen Asia-Pacific (A-P) countries that are depriving people of their right to express during the ongoing Covid crisis.
Similarly, dictator Donald Trump has been downplaying the threat from coronavirus and did not take any steps to save thousands of lives in the U.S. In fact, Donald Trump is so cruel that he even asked the American citizens to consume poisonous disinfectants if they want to get themselves cured from coronavirus disease.
While Trump is responsible for over 100,000 Covid deaths in the U.S., like Bolsonaro, he has also accused WHO for spreading coronavirus in the U.S.
In order to hide his own failures, Trump has been unnecessarily blaming others such as China and the WHO for allowing the virus to spread in different countries.
Now, he is vigorously asking the states to reopen the economy because if the economy does not get revived, Trump is expected to lose the presidential election scheduled to take place on November 3.
As these dictators – Bolsonaro, Modi, and Trump – have completely failed to save the lives of their citizens, they are accusing others of spreading fake news about their ignorance and neglect. The fact, however, is that they themselves are the wholesale distributors of fake news.
They frequently use lapdog media anchors and armies of hired trolls to spread fake news in order to divert the attention from widespread damage being caused by coronavirus and gain political advantage deceptively.
Now, hundreds of thousands of people are dying because of the negligence of all these dictators. But unfortunately there is hardly any judicial system in the world that can prosecute and imprison them for their crimes against humanity.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects. These publications include the “Covid Health Bulletin” that covers global coronavirus news and views.
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