RIO DE JANEIRO | Denial in the face of the coronavirus, returns to the cookie-cutter, lack of empathy, the obsession with the economy and chloroquine, the president of the brazilian Jair Bolsonaro, has not been content to follow his model Donald Trump. He went on further.
If in February, for the american president, and the virus ” was going to disappear with the return of la belle saison “, Bolsonaro denounced in march the “hysteria” around a ” small flu “.
As in Washington, denial was prevalent in Brasilia, however, the COVID-19 began to sow death in the favelas are overcrowded Rio and up the amazon rainforest.
Today, the United States and Brazil are the two countries with the most cases of contamination and deplore nearly 100 000 and 24 000 deaths.
Jair Bolsonaro continues to offer himself to the bathroom crowd, and without this mask as its american counterpart, has always refused to wear in public. The first is a jet-ski, the second has taken over the golf course.
In Brasilia, “the Trump of the tropics” has also caused consternation with a total lack of empathy for the victims and about the surrealists on this virus, that ” it is necessary to face as a man, not a kid “.
Like Trump before he changes tone, Bolsonaro has been much criticized in Brazil for its inability to provide a cap in the face of a pandemic that it has been politicized to the extreme, cutting the country in two.
In this Brazil also federal, Bolsonaro ran, like Trump, to governors with powers of public health that were imposed by “the tyranny of the containment,” he said.
In particular, those of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, that he has treated of “dung” and “manure pile” during a council of ministers that the video caused a scandal.
Bolsonaro and Trump “have followed the same strategy, which is to distance themselves from the economic crisis to come in and blame the other political actors, such as governors,” says Oliver Stuenkel, professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.
“Hunger and misery”
Mimicry again, when Trump referred to the “virus” chinese, Bolsonaro was left with a minister complotiste and a few hundred protesters Sunday anti-communists to denounce the ” comunavirus “.
And after that Trump has cut the food of the world Health Organization, Bolsonaro was protesting against the who, which ” promotes masturbation and homosexuality “.
“This necessity to find enemies is “trumpienne” but there is a tradition of authoritarian and populist, which is to look for scapegoats (…) for do not endorse the “responsibility” of a crisis, notes Mr. Stuenkel.
With the same contempt that Trump the science, Bolsonaro has generalized the treatment of a very controversial chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The tenant of the White House had just revealed to take this last.
Chloroquine in particular has cost their portfolios to two ministers of Health in a month, and has been a theme of obsessive for Bolsonaro, the return of the population at work. As Trump.
Echoing the call to “reboot America” as early as mid-April of Trump, Bolsonaro has affirmed that “Brazil cannot stop” except to know that ” hunger and misery “.
“Bolsonaro, like Trump, doesn’t want to be held responsible for the economic bankruptcy,” said Juliette Dumont, master of conference at the Institute of High studies of Latin America (Paris).
As Trump in November, Bolsonaro was counting on the economy to be re-elected in 2022.
But the president of the far right, outside of the pedestal base on which it relies, increasingly, has lost support.
“There are striking similarities, a full alignment, and new on the United States in brazilian History. But there’s a differentiation, ” says Ms. Dumont.
“Trump has been forced to change its stance so that Bolsonaro persist and sign (…) in an attempt to escape “.
“Even if it is a little less in denial, because the figures are there, it does not return back,” she continued. “It has placed an acting minister of Health, a member of the military who doesn’t know anything. It is quite telling “.
Threat of impeachment
“Bolsonaro has been far more irresponsible that Trump “, is full of Mr. Stuenkel, ” it has minimized the crisis permanently “.
If Trump has survived in February to a ” impeachment “, the threat of dismissal is very real for Bolsonaro, after the deposit of 35 applications to the Chamber of deputies, some for his handling of the health crisis.
But Bolsonaro has in front of him ” an opposition nearly inaudible “, said Ms. Dumont, who also spoke of “counter-powers less effective” than in the United States.
“Bolsonaro has a lot more freedom than Trump, who is much more constrained by the institutions and should be more presidential,” said Mr Stuenkel.