Even as the U.S. surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths this week, Brazil has reached its own dark coronavirus marker.
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For the first time, Brazil has reported more COVID-19 deaths in a single day than the U.S. has. For the 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, the country registered more than a thousand fatalities from the new coronavirus. The U.S. saw fewer than 600.
That’s just one more indication of how frightening Brazil’s COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly become. Last weekend Latin America’s largest country jumped into second place worldwide behind the U.S. for its number of coronavirus infections, which are approaching 400,000.
This week the PanAmerican Health Organization, or PAHO, said Brazil is seeing an “exponential increase” in new coronavirus cases. It warned the country’s death toll could quadruple to almost 90,000 by the end of the summer.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is widely criticized for dismissing the pandemic and undermining state and local social-distancing efforts.
PAHO officials also said Latin America is now the global pandemic’s new epicenter.