April 16, 2021


1. COVID CPI and foul language from the president given widespread attention

The Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) that will investigate President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic and the use of federal money by states and municipalities – known as COVID CPI – was created this week with minimum participation from supporters of the administration. Of the 11 senators who are responsible for the inquiry, four are supporters of the administration, five are considered to be independent and two are members of the opposition. The commission will begin operating on the 22nd.
The creation of the COVID CPI was endorsed by 10 votes to one in the Federal Supreme Court. Additionally, a leaked audio recording of a conversation between Senator Jorge Kajuru and Bolsonaro caused a stir in Congress. “If you [Kajuru] do not participate [in the CPI] that scumbag [Senator] Randolfe Rodrigues will be a pain in the ass. And I’ll have to get into a fight with a piece of s*** like him,” said the president. Rodrigues, who requested the creation of the CPI, is part of the Commission. After the audio was leaked, the CPI included money sent from the federal government to states and municipalities as part of the inquiry.

O Estado de S. Paulo: CPI da Covid tem minoria governista
Folha de S.Paulo: Senado inclui estados e municípios na CPI
Rede Globo: Negociação pela presidência da CPI avança

2. Government restocks just 17% of medications needed for patients on ventilators 

The administration bought only 17% of the stock of drugs necessary to treat critically ill coronavirus patients in the public health system. The Ministry of Health had promised to buy 186 million doses of the medications, which would be enough for 180 days. However, they actually purchased just 32.48 million units of the drugs (17%).
Painkillers, sedatives, and other drugs to control heart rates and pulmonary circulation are some of the medications that are out of stock. These drugs are used in intubated patients so that they don’t feel pain or involuntarily remove the ventilator tube. States and municipalities have halted hospitalizations or begun to improvise in their care. In Rio de Janeiro, health professionals say that patients have been tied to their beds so that they won’t move. The coronavirus has killed over 366,000 people in Brazil and 13.8 million people are confirmed to have had the disease. As of yesterday evening, only 12% of the population have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Governo repõe só 17% do estoque do kit intubação
O Globo: Sem sedativo, pacientes são amarrados nos leitos
G1: Leia mais notícias sobre a pandemia
Our World in Data: Acompanhe a vacinação no Brasil e no mundo

3. Brazilians are fifth in ranking of worsening mental health perception

A study by Instituto Ipsos undertaken at the request of the World Economic Forum reveals that Brazilians have a perception that their state of mental health is worsening at a rate above the global average, ranking 5th among 30 countries. The study interviewed 21,000 people and shows that 53% of Brazilians believe their mental well-being has deteriorated, behind only Turkey (61%), Hungary (56%), Chile (56%) and Italy (54%). The global average was at 41%.
The study also reveals that 18% of Brazilians believe that their mental health has gotten significantly worse in 2020, a number that is only behind perceptions in Turkey and Hungary, both tied in first place with 21%. People interviewed were also questioned about their expectations about going back to the lives they had before the pandemic. In Brazil, 50% of people believe this will happen in 2021 and 35% believe it will take longer. The averages from the 30 countries surveyed stood at 45% and 41% respectively. 

Valor Econômico: Maioria vê piora da saúde mental no Brasil
BBC Brasil:
Para brasileiros, bem-estar mental piorou

4. 26% of Brazilian families in default; indebtedness reaches record high

A study by Fundação Getúlio Vargas shows that 26% of Brazilian families have at least one member of the family with overdue bills. Default levels are at 44% in families with an income below R$ 2,100 (USD $375.50) a month and at 10% in families with monthly income exceeding R$ 9,600 (USD $1,716). According to the study, over half of defaulters blame the problem on salary reductions or job losses due to the pandemic.
The rate of indebtedness to banks, according to a Central Bank report published this week, also grew in 2020 and reached a record high – consuming 56% of the annual income of families. In 2019, debts represented 49% of annual incomes. The portion of the income of people in the same household with bank installments to be paid was also the largest ever recorded – since measurements began in 2005 – at 31% in 2020, compared to 29% the year before.

Folha de S.Paulo: 26% da famílias têm dívida em atraso
O Estado de S. Paulo: Endividamento bancário cresce

5. In letter to President Biden, Bolsonaro promises to end illegal deforestation by 2030

In a never-before-seen nod to the U.S, President Jair Bolsonaro has promised to end illegal deforestation in Brazil by 2030. This commitment was never made in the goals of his government. Bolsonaro also indicated that he might advance Brazil’s planned climate neutrality by 10 years – to 2050 – but added that this will depend on significant international resources. Bolsonaro’s commitments are part of a letter sent to U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of the world summit for climate change on April 22nd.

In the document, the Brazilian President says he is willing to adopt joint actions with indigenous leaders and NGOs for a “constructive discussion and true commitment to the solution of problems.” Yesterday, Tribal Leader Raoni Metuktire, a world-renowned indigenous leader, participated in a virtual meeting with the U.S. President and sent a message to Biden. “He [Bolsonaro] is encouraging gold-digging and loggers. I want the river clean, the forest standing. Why all this hate for us?” Metukitre added: “I don’t know how to speak to your name, you [Biden] must have heard about me. If this bad president tells you something, ignore him and say: Raoni has talked to me.” 

Folha de S.Paulo: Bolsonaro promete acabar com desmatamento ilegal
O Estado de S. Paulo: EUA cobram posicionamento sobre Amazônia
Folha de S.Paulo: Raoni aconselha Biden a ignorar ‘o presidente ruim’