Brazil now accounts for about a quarter of all COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country, and its overall death toll of more than 310,000 is surpassed only by the United States. Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces intense pressure to abandon his opposition to vaccinations, lockdowns and mask-wearing. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, professor of neurobiology at Duke University and former coordinator of the largest scientific COVID-19 task force in Brazil, says Bolsonaro “has played on the side of the virus” by opposing any efforts to control the outbreak. “Since the beginning, he downplayed the severity of the pandemic.”
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