Covid in Brazil ‘completely out of control,’ says Sao Paulo-based reporter

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Brazil just reached a grim Covid-19 milestone, and a reporter based in Sao Paulo doesn’t see the situation improving in the near future.

“We have people dying because of lack of oxygen, people are literally suffocating,” Patricia Campos Mello, a reporter for Folha de Sao Paulo, told CNBC’s  “The News with Shepard Smith” on Tuesday. “There are no medications for intubation, there are no ICU beds. It’s a combination of lack of planning and just denialism of the seriousness of the disease.” 

“The situation is completely out of control,” Campos Mello added.

Campos Mello comments came after Brazil registered on Tuesday a daily record tally of Covid deaths, recording more than 3,700 deaths, according to data from Brazil’s health ministry. Brazil has the second-most Covid deaths in the world with , trailing only the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. On top of that, less than 2% of Brazil’s population has received at least one vaccine dose.

However, President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently attacked Covid-related safety measures. Earlier this month, he told people to stop “whining” about the deaths and to simply move on. Campos Mello noted the world can learn from the mistakes in Brazil. 

“I think the main lesson is that, when you have a president or a leader that is spreading disinformation and saying that people should not worry, that they don’t have to do social distancing, this is very, very serious, and we are seeing the results now with all the deaths,” Campos Mello said.

Bolsonaro also replaced several of his top military officials on Tuesday, after he fired a defense minister Monday amid a major cabinet reshuffle. Campos Mello told CNBC’s Shepard Smith the political chaos is a result of Bolsonaro reacting to the widespread pressure due to the country’s mismanagement of the pandemic. 

“President Bolsonaro’s approval ratings are falling, so he fired some ministers, and today the chiefs of the armed forces, they resigned because they were being pressured by Bolsonaro to have some sort of curfew or extreme measures that were almost over the top,” she said.  

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