Bolsonaro remains defiant and defends chloroquine again

The Brazilian president insisted on his magic recipe against the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO.- More Jair Bolsonaro than ever. Far from moderation, a day after receiving the positive for coronavirus, the Brazilian president amplified the propaganda of hydroxychloroquine, the indicated remedy against malaria that he began to take as a treatment despite the lack of scientific evidence.

“To those who swell against hydroxychloroquine, but have no alternatives, I regret to report that I am doing very well,” Bolsonaro said in a message shared on Twitter.

The President published a photo without a mask and smiling. He said he felt very good and insisted on the apology of the drug that does not have endorsements about its effectiveness: “I am very good with its use, I will still live a long time,” he said.

Bolsonaro’s preaching for the drug, commonly used against malaria, had already been reinforced Tuesday afternoon when he had uploaded a video taking a pill. “I believe in hydroxychloroquine. What about you,” had said a smiling president, almost become an actor in an advertising commercial.

Despite the reverse of science, with several studies showing the ineffectiveness of the drug, Bolsonaro does not move from his position. The right-winger placed himself on the opposite path of medical societies, which warn that the indiscriminate promotion of the drug, ineffective for Covid-19, may not only not cure but cause greater problems such as arrhythmias for those who take it.

On March 21, before the first month of the pandemic in Brazil was completed, the right-wing directed the Army to expand the manufacture of the drug. He acted, as many times since he assumed the Brazilian presidency, following Donald Trump, who at a press conference two days earlier had asked the Food and Drug Agency to approve medications with the drug for coronavirus sufferers.

As of June 24, the Army Chemical and Pharmaceutical Laboratory produced 2.25 million tablets of the drug. Before the pandemic, the army produced 250,000 tablets every two years to combat malaria. In other words, by Bolsonaro’s order, in a few weeks Brazil produced a stock equivalent to that which it demands in 18 years.

The Court of Accounts of the Union asked on June 18 to investigate a possible overbilling in the purchase of supplies to produce the drug.

For Bolsonaro, building the story of chloroquine as a “magic amulet” – says Mauricio Santoro, professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro – has been an attempt to impose his agenda and main concern: to more quickly relax quarantine measures and revive the economy.

“Out of scientific ignorance or despair, the president has managed to maintain the adherence of a considerable portion of the voters to whom he presents chloroquine as an alternative,” Santoro told LA NACION. “For those who have faith in the president, chloroquine works as a special protection,” he explained.

Brazil, the second country most affected by the coronavirus in absolute numbers, today registered 44,571 new infections and reached a total of 1,713,160 infected. In addition, it reached 67,964 deaths from the disease, according to the balance of the Ministry of Health.

In the hours after the confirmation, the right-wing insisted on defending how his government faced the pandemic, widely criticized for having deviated from scientific recommendations and having twice changed the leadership of the Ministry of Health, now in the hands of a general without health experience.

“No country in the world did like Brazil. We preserve lives and jobs without spreading panic, which also leads to depression and deaths. I always said that fighting the virus could not have a worse side effect than the virus itself,” Bolsonaro said.

The imprudence of the president yesterday when he presented the results of his test to journalists will go to court. The Brazilian press association (ABI) announced that it will sue the president, accused of having put at risk the journalists who followed the press conference. Bolsonaro had appeared in a chinstrap a short distance from reporters and in the final stretch of the interview, he took a few steps back and took off his mask.

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