Trump, Bolsonaro making COVID-19 disaster even worse

This 25 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

How U.S. and Brazil Leadership That “Neglects Science” Led to Hemisphere’s Worst Coronavirus Crises

As coronavirus infections worldwide approach 10 million, nearly half can be found in the two largest countries in the Americas: the United States and Brazil, which now has the worst infection rate in the world and could surpass the U.S. death toll next month.

“What we see in the country is a reflection of the leadership that we have,” says Marcia Castro, professor of demography, chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-chair of Harvard’s Brazil Studies Program, noting far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the pandemic’s severity and undermined efforts to enforce protective measures. We also discuss the country’s participation in vaccine trials, the impact of the crisis on Brazil’s Indigenous population, and the spike in COVID in the three most populous U.S. states of California, Texas and Florida.

STATES PAUSE REOPENINGS AS VIRUS RAGES The coronavirus crisis deepened in Arizona and the governor of Texas began to backtrack after making one of the country’s most aggressive pushes to reopen, as the daily number of confirmed cases smashed the peak reached during late April. Florida’s governor also said he’d delay the next phase of reopening. The U.S. case numbers, probably influenced by expanded testing, show the virus is making a community spread comeback. Daily deaths, hospitalizations and the percentage of tests coming back positive have been rising over the past few weeks, mostly in the South and West. [AP]

TRUMP ASKS SUPREME COURT TO KILL OBAMACARE AMID PANDEMIC The Trump administration filed a brief Thursday night calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act — which allows millions of Americans to get health insurance coverage — just as the nation hit a record for new COVID-19 cases in a single day. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in a brief that because Congress in 2017 invalidated the law’s individual coverage mandate — by dropping a tax penalty for those without health insurance — the “entire ACA thus must fall.” Pelosi ripped the president for “unfathomable cruelty.” [HuffPost]

TEXAS PUTS REOPENING ON ‘PAUSE’ AS COVID-19 CASES SOAR Gov. Greg Abbott halted elective surgeries in Texas’ biggest counties and said the state would “pause” its aggressive re-opening as it deals with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that has made it one of the nation’s virus hot spots. The suspension of elective surgeries is designed to protect hospital space in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas. Statewide, the number of COVID-19 patients has more than doubled in two weeks.  [AP]


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