Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:1
Alan Dantas: Brazil’s Bolsonaro Carrying Out Power Project amid Coronavirus Outbreak
TEHRAN (FNA)- Alan Dantas, Brazilian journalist, says Jair Bolsonaro is securing his position of authority, overlooking the fact that the national health sector can hardly cope with the killer virus.

In an exclusive interview with FNA, Alan Dantas said dismissing Luiz Henrique Mandetta, the former Health Minister, was an indication that “Bolsonaro is currently more concerned with saving his own position in the government which is in severe crisis, than commanding the country in the fight against coronavirus”.

He further asserted Bolsonaro’s taking the path of the US President Donald Trump to neglect the risk of Covid-19 has changed the climate of opinion against the his government. “Many who supported Bolsonaro in 2018 [now] understand that they made the wrong choice. Even former allies, like the traditional right-wing parties, are now jumping out of Bolsonaro boat, leaving him in a political isolation.”

Alan Dantas is a Brazilian journalist, press officer, radio producer and the editor of Dossier Sul, a news website focused on international issues and diplomacy based in Brazil.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: There were many disagreements between President Jair Bolsonaro and the dismissed Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta. Why were there so many clashes in the cabinet over Covid-19?

A: Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outspread in Brazil, former Health Minister Mandetta adopted a stance which was not favored by President Jair Bolsonaro. Mandetta carried out his work in line with the WHO guidelines, such as practicing isolation, stopping economic activities and sending federal aid to Brazilian states. Bolsonaro, like the US President Donald Trump, believes that Covid-19 is a disease which may expose people to a slight danger (like the common flu) and that the country should return to normal life. Over time, the differences between the policies adopted by the former health minister and president became evident, which was clearly pointed out by Mandetta in an interview right before his dismissal: "there is clearly a mismatch between the Ministry of Health [and the Planalto]."

On the other hand, Mandetta won the trust of the people, and enjoyed increasing popular support for his decisions on the outbreak. At the same time, the fact that Mandetta overlooked presidential statements made Bolsonaro worried that the health minister would change the public opinion towards him. Thus, Mandetta was dismissed and replaced by oncologist Nelson Teich, a business consultant who is totally passive in the face of the decisions of the president and his team.

Q: The shouts of “Bolsonaro, you are killer!” were heard in Rio de Janeiro and the rest of the country, when news of the sacking broke! Why did Brazilians protest the president’s decision?

A: Bolsonaro is in fact not committed to the health of the Brazilian population. The number of deaths by Covid-19 in Brazil has already surpassed the death toll in China. Asked about this fact, the president said: “So what? What can I do? I do not work miracles”. The reaction shocked the country. The dismissal of Mandetta, his former political partner, was a proof that Bolsonaro is currently more concerned with saving his own position in the government which is in severe crisis, than commanding the country in the fight against coronavirus. In all states, there is the collapse of the health system; as it is the case in the State of Maranhão, federal resources and equipment are blocked by the president.

It is widely believed that Bolsonaro has his own power project by creating chaos in Brazil; creating an environment conducive to a coup against the constitution. In one of stances, Bolsonaro replaced the head of the Federal Police (PF) with an agent close to his family, Alexandre Ramagem. Bolsonaro, then, called the institution, which is supposed to operate independently, "my Federal Police". Notwithstanding, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) nullified the appointment.

Q: People had seen how Bolsonaro powered his way to the Planalto Palace in 2018 election, as he repeatedly declared he is pro-America and would enjoy close relationship with Donald Trump. Do you think those who voted for him now regret?

A: The election won by Jair Bolsonaro was full of fraud and criminal practices that led him to the Presidency in 2018. The Brazilian social environment was divided between the middle class, the elites and the traditional right-wing parties that allied with Bolsonaro to defeat the Workers' Party (PT) and the poorest population.

With the spread of “fake news”, Brazilians lost confidence in political actors during presidential campaigns. At the same time, they were fueled by Bolsonaro's hatred and blinded to the consequences of their choice.

But, only now, many who supported Bolsonaro in 2018 understand that they made the wrong choice. Even former allies, like the traditional right-wing parties, are now jumping out of Bolsonaro boat, leaving him in a political isolation. One of his “super ministers”, Sergio Moro, has just left the government, which represented another great defeat for Bolsonaro.

The country's political situation continues to deteriorate and the country's future looks totally uncertain at this point. Amid all this, Brazilian victims of coronavirus continue to die in hospitals.





Bottom top
UK: Study Finds Nearly Three in Four Child Abuse Survivors without Support

TEHRAN (FNA)- Child abuse survivors largely avoided using support services or faced major hurdles to get the help they needed, a study suggested.
Report: People Waiting for Hospital Treatment in England at Highest Level Ever

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine hospital treatment in England is at the highest level since records began.
IRGC Commander Vows Harsh Revenge for US Assassination of General Soleimani

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami underlined again that Iran will certainly retaliate against the US assassination of the martyred Commander of the IRGC Qods Force, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, saying a harsh revenge is waiting for the American assassins.
Minister: Iran to Quadruple Agricultural Products

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian announced on Thursday that by inauguration of tens of infrastructural projects, production of agricultural products in the country will increase four time.
Iranian DM Unveils Special Line to Upgrade Tanks

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami unveiled a special line to upgrade and optimize the tanks used by the country's Armed Forces on Thursday.
President Rouhani: Iranian Nation Always Wins

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that weekly inauguration of infrastructural projects in his country is a message to the enemies that the Iranian nation is always a winner despite pressures.
Report Reveals US Special Ops Secretly Active in Almost Half of Africa as Military Touts Threat of China, Russia

TEHRAN (FNA)- US commandos operate in 22 African nations, making the continent its second-largest military footprint after the Middle East, a news report revealed.
Report: US Hospitals Pressure Healthcare Staff to Work Even If They Have COVID Symptoms

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hospital employees say they must choose between their paychecks and their health amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by The Guardian.
Watchdog Says Trump's UK Envoy Made Inappropriate Remarks on Religion, Race, Sex

TEHRAN (FNA)- President Donald Trump’s envoy to the United Kingdom made inappropriate comments on religion, sex and race and threatened staff’s jobs if they disagreed with him, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday.
Study: 3.4mln in England Infected with Virus

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 10 times as many people as officially believed have been infected with coronavirus in England, a study suggested
Hundreds of Thousands without Power Aays after US Midwest Storm

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of thousands of households in Iowa and Illinois remained without electricity Wednesday, two days after a rare wind storm that hit the United States Midwest devastated parts of the power grid, flattened valuable cornfields and killed two people.
Iran: 174 New Coronavirus Deaths, over 292,000 Recoveries

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Thursday that 2,625 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified across the country during the past 24 hours, noting that 174 patients have lost their lives since yesterday.
Iran, Iraq Discuss Ways to Facilitate Mutual Trade

TEHRAN (FNA)- High-ranking Iranian and Iraqi officials in a meeting in Baghdad conferred on ways to implement mutual trade agreements and facilitate exchanges between the two countries.
Iran Asks Europe to Strengthen Multilateralism by Implementing Undertakings

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to France Bahram Qassemi welcomed Europe's interest in strengthening multilateralism in the world, saying that implementation of undertakings will help the cause.
FM: US Desperate in Struggle to Extend Arms Embargos against Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at Washington for resorting to the personal position of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council's secretary-general to show support for the draft resolution to extend arms embargos against Tehran.