Brazilians bang pots in protest as another 2,500 die of COVID-19

Protests broke out in several cities in Brazil on Wednesday evening as President Jair Bolsonaro spoke to the nation just days after protesters across the country took to the streets about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly half a million people to date had gone here.

The past few days have been rocky for the right-wing leader’s government, whose popularity had already waned amid the persistently high daily COVID-19 deaths and cases.

According to government reports, almost 100,000 Brazilians were infected with the corona virus and 2,507 died on Wednesday alone. Earlier in the day, the country’s Supreme Court cleared a criminal investigation into Bolsonaro’s environment minister for allegedly interfering with a police investigation into illegal logging.

In the televised address, Bolsonaro briefly summed up some of his government’s recent achievements and promised strong economic growth for the future, but did not present any new information.

A woman and a child hold oxygen tanks during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at the Moacyr do Carmo hospital in Duque de Caxias near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 20, 2021. REUTERS / Pilar Olivares

On Saturday, thousands took part in protests in at least 16 cities across the country organized by left-wing political parties, trade unions and student associations.

In Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, thousands of people in masks blocked one of the largest avenues in the city while a large balloon portrayed Bolsonaro as a vampire.

Some protests, like the one in Rio de Janeiro, included images of former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who emerged as Bolsonaro’s main challenger in the 2022 elections and is wearing the presidential sash. Continue reading

In the short speech on Wednesday night, Bolsonaro, who has ridiculed masks and vaccines in the past, said that all Brazilians who wanted a vaccine could get one by the end of the year.

Also in the evening, the country’s health ministry revised the number of COVID-19 vaccines it will receive in June by about 4 million doses.

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