Tiago Tasca By: Tiago Tasca
Researcher in Global Health
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27 Sep 2020 : 40%

The world is running against the clock in order to develop a safe and efficient vaccine for COVID-19. These developments are not free from political hardships - despite many biomedical complexities - and social consequences. In the international system, this vaccine-race is showing us the many flaws of international cooperation (which we can, surely, fix. It's a tough task - ok let me be a little bit utopic). While some countries are menacing to left the WHO (e.g., the US), some are reshaping its role in the global health governance (e.g., the recent UK increase of 30% in its contributions to the WHO). However, this is not the full story. To avoid vaccine nacionalism and to promote multilateral responses to our commom problems: we need more coordination (surely one sort of coordination never seen before) and, more importantly, we need strong institutions that can prevent populist leaders to make nonsense and erratic decisions. 

These decisions are always in the spotlight of Brazilian media. We have now more than 140,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 and the President is still making bad - very very bad - decisions. First, we are already facing the next crisis in Brasil (the climate one: Amazonia is burning, the Brazilian Pantanal is burning... animals are dying and our biodiversity - one of the largest in the world - is getting into extinction). Despite this, the President is misinforming the population by showing false data abour deforestation and fires in the forests. He also blamed the indigenous people to burn the forest (ok, really? yes, he said that at the UN General Assembly opening statement). Second, the President's speech at the UN was tragical. He lied to the world audience and said many b******! He also said that Brazil had the treatment for COVID-19 (i.e., chloroquine) and he tried to approve and implement this treatment. However - he lamented - there is no scientific evidence..... He also mentioned CRISTOFOBIA (something like christian phobia) and he asserted that Brazil is a conservative country. Well, not at all! He congratulated Trump for the well managment of COVID-19 crisis: well, both presidents underperfomed their responses. Despite this, Brazil formally entered in the COVAX mechanism (with a R$ 2,5 billion). Fourth, we now have a Health Minister. Do not celebrate: it's the same military man that was occuping the office... He has no health background and is completely aligned with the President's beliefs about chloroquine. Fifth - and the most shocking news - Bolsonaro reached the highest rate of popularity: 40%. 40% of people believe that his performance to cope with the COVID-19 is good or very good. Sixth - and not shocking - the new Education Ministry said that people opt to be gay; people choose to be gay. Yes, this is the country where I live and this seems an horror movie, but this is the Brazilian reality (some people also called it as Brazilian horror story). 

That's all, folks. Let me breathe a little bit because tomorrow starts a new week and we must be prepared for another horror  week show... Sorry for this pessimism, I swear I am not suffering from depression/anxiety! 

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