Inside Story

Will Brazil’s leader be forced to take the coronavirus seriously?

President Jair Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 after dismissing the severity of the pandemic for months.

Brazil’s president spent months downplaying the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Jair Bolsonaro is one of the 1.6 million Brazilians infected in the world’s second-biggest COVID-19 outbreak.

He had dismissed the virus as “a little flu”, refused to impose lockdowns, and ignored social distancing measures.

As the death toll rose, Bolsonaro remained defiant and ordered states to reopen their economies.

How will the president deal with the consequences of his decisions?

Presenter: Imran Khan


Dr Robert Nemer – President of the Brazilian Lebanese Medical Association

Natalia Pasternak – Research fellow at the Biomedical Institute of the University of Sao Paulo

Kleber Carrilho – Professor of political strategy and communication, University of Sao Paulo