By Angel Guerra – March 29, 2020
The AP news agency reports that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is promoting a campaign against the coronavirus quarantine. The president and his son Flavio have appealed to social networks to pressure the governors of the country to reopen businesses, schools, and companies. Trump fans will love this; “Healthcare in Second Place” is one of the campaign slogans. The governors have rejected the president’s call to lift the protection measures. They argue, and rightly so, that they violate the directives of the World Health Organization, of the experts, and endanger the largest population in Latin America. “The Executive is very fragile and there is a real danger that Bolsonaro will not survive this year politically. The governors saw the possibility of asserting themselves and are beginning to position themselves as potential successors,” says Oliver Stuenkel, professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.
Meanwhile, the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, stated, “Between taking care of the economy or taking care of lives, I chose to take care of lives. The next day Clarín did the same to Axel Kicillof, progressive governor of the province of Buenos Aires. They both expressed their concern for the predicament of the business elite at the loss of profits that the government’s plan against the coronavirus will bring them. No wonder Marcelo Bonnelli said in El Clarin newspaper that “in secret meetings” businessmen are very critical of “the slowness to face the economic crisis”. They disdain the confinement and the amount of money that will be put into the hands of the underprivileged.
Bonuses will be coming in the amount of about $400 for health and security personnel for the extra burdensome will have to take on to care for patients and others to prevent social isolation. Informal workers will receive $800 monthly, including the unemployed and those receiving universal child allowances. Prices are being capped at the basic level to avoid price gouging.
Meanwhile, Governor Kicilloff is seeking Cuban doctors to work in intensive care units during the pandemic, an area in which the province lacks qualified personnel. This announcement was immediately criticized in the leading conservative news source La Nación.