Brazil

Edmar Barros / AP

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.

President Trump is barring the entry of most non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil within the past 14 days, the White House announced on Sunday, citing concerns over Brazil's rapidly worsening coronavirus crisis.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

COMMENTARY

We know one likely reason Brazil’s coronavirus emergency is in full meltdown. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calls the pandemic a “media hoax” and has done everything in his power, like hosting a large pro-Bolsonaro street rally last weekend, to undermine social distancing.

YESICA FISCH / AP

Brazil is now the world’s fastest growing COVID-19 hotspot. Each day the country is reporting more than 10,000 new infections – and about a thousand new deaths. Brazil’s top scientists say the country isn’t even close to its pandemic peak yet. And over the weekend its health minister quit – the second to leave in a month.

WLRN’s Christine DiMattei spoke with Americas editor Tim Padgett about Brazil’s COVID-19 meltdown – and the political chaos that’s making it worse.

Brazilian skater Gui Khury, 11, is the first person to complete a 1080-degree turn, or three full rotations, on a vertical ramp.

Khury broke news of his feat on his Instagram account on Friday. The video shows the skateboarder flying up off the half-pipe, spinning three times, and seamlessly skating back down. The historic move plays three times over, once in slow motion, with the caption "1080!!!I have no words to explain what just happened..."

"I just wish a helicopter would come and fly me away from here," says Manuel Viana, a Brazilian funeral director in the front line of the spiraling coronavirus crisis. "We are living through a nightmare."

Viana is among the citizens and officials struggling to cope with a tragedy under way in Manaus, a city of 2.2 million in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

Cemeteries and hospitals have been overwhelmed by a surge in the number of deaths, most of which are not registered in official COVID-19 statistics because of a lack of testing and bureaucratic delays.

AP

COMMENTARY

COVID-19 is producing a feel-good story across Latin America.

According to this silver linings playbook, the pandemic is neutralizing the powerful street gangs that have made the region the world’s most criminally violent. It’s lowering murder rates and raising gangbangers’ civic consciousness. Post-coronavirus Latin America will be a continent of lions lying with lambs – and no longer such a rampant source of illegal immigration to the U.S.

Andre Borges / AP

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has called COVID-19 a media “hoax.” His health minister challenged the president’s denial of the pandemic. And that health minister is now out of a job.

Andre Borges / AP

COMMENTARY

President Trump turned up the pandemic chaos this week by halting U.S. funding of the World Health Organization and ordering his name slapped on U.S. Treasury relief checks. His Brazilian buddy, President Jair Bolsonaro, has effectively responded by saying: “Hold my beer.”

AP

Until this month, it looked like Latin America and the Caribbean might be spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then the world saw the tragic images from Ecuador of a sudden and overwhelming number of deaths from the new coronavirus – of corpses lining the sidewalks in the port city of Guayaquil. Meanwhile, the number of cases in Brazil is doubling or tripling every week – and so are the number of deaths.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

COMMENTARY 

On the opening page of his guerrilla memoir "Fire from the Mountain," Nicaraguan revolutionary Omar Cabezas calls his birthplace "a ghost town” during Semana Santa, or Holy Week, because everybody bolts for the countryside or the beaches to congregate and party.

This is Semana Santa, the week before Easter, and Nicaragua is still congregating and partying – in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic that's killed almost 90,000 people worldwide.

AP

Latin America and the Caribbean have so far avoided the scarier level of COVID-19 infection seen in Europe, Asia and the U.S. But the region’s numbers are starting to jump. And hemispheric health experts on Tuesday had a warning for one country in particular.

Andre Borges / AP

COMMENTARY

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – the leaders of the two largest countries in the Americas – finished neck-and-neck in their latest race to be more coronavirus-irresponsible than spring-breakers on Miami Beach.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

One of the most popular, and most ridiculous, social media discussions of the past year is the big Capitalism-versus-Socialism Debate. Thanks to President Trump’s right-wing demonization of socialism, and Bernie Sanders’ left-wing demonization of capitalism, folks in America – and in Latin America, thanks to Sanders’ recent kudos to Cuba – have decided it’s an either-or issue.

It’s not, of course. The best societies are always a hybrid of free wealth production and fair wealth redistribution. And the coronavirus pandemic, from São Paulo to Seattle, may finally affirm that commonsense reality across our absurdly polarized hemisphere.

Brazilian Official Who Met With Trump, Rubio, Scott In South Florida Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020
Via Fabio Wajngarten's Instagram account

President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s not worried about reports in Brazilian media that the press secretary for President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus, just days after Bolsonaro and the press aide met with Trump in South Florida.

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