Sao Paulo

Fotoarena/Sipa USA via AP

Brazil on Tuesday reported a national record of nearly 35,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, even as the government has insisted that the outbreak is under control.

The health ministry added 34,918 new cases, but Brazilian media, in collaboration with state health departments, said the figure was probably undercounted by a few thousand. The ministry also announced 1,282 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to more than 45,000 since the pandemic began.

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.

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

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.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

When São Paulo, Brazil, reported Latin America’s first case of the new coronavirus last month, South Florida had reason to worry.