28 October, 2020

La América, Going South

The Covid footprint in Latin America is characterised by wide disparity

La América, Going South
outlookindia.com
2020-06-13T15:11:34+05:30

A grim shadow stalks the Andes, playas and Pampas—the continent is “losing its battle against coronavirus”, CNN reported on June 7. WHO calls it “the new Covid epicentre”. With good reason: 1.2 million cases, over 60,000 deaths—amid soaring food prices. But South America offers an illuminating, if frequently tragic, case-study of how political ideology can interface with pandemic control: a full panoply that defies generalisations. The most flagrant violator? Of course, Brazil’s armyman-turned-strongman Jair Bolsanaro, a “polarising and controversial” figure who comes closest to fitting the description of a far-right despot. The Lancet called him “the biggest threat” for Brazil; an opposition MP concurred, saying: “We’ve unfortunately discovered that the virus’s main ally and best friend is the president.” Brazil now is second on world charts, with nearly 7 lakh cases and over 36,000 deaths. In stark contrast, President Alberto Fernandez’s comparatively decisive Peronist government in...

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