April 9, 2021


1. Supreme Court Justice demands Senate investigation of pandemic mistakes

Federal Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso demanded that Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco open a Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) to investigate errors made by the government in handling the pandemic. Over one-third of Congress had previously signed an inquiry request that has been ignored by the president of the senate. Pacheco stated that he will not wait for a Supreme Court decision on the matter and will open the investigation next week.

However, Pacheco also criticized Barroso’s request, claiming that a CPI would be use as an electoral tool. The decision will also deepen the crisis between the executive and the judiciary powers. President Jair Bolsonaro said there is no question that the Federal Supreme Court is interfering in the executive power, suggesting that it is time for Congress to deliberate on the impeachment requests for Supreme Court Justices that have been presented in the Senate. “It seems to me that Barroso lacks moral courage while having judicial activism to spare,” said the president. Another decision displeased Bolsonaro – the Federal Supreme Court ruled against allowing churches and religious temples to open during lockdown.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Barroso manda Senado instalar CPI da Pandemia
Folha de S.Paulo: Ministro do STF não tem coragem moral, diz Bolsonaro
Folha de S.Paulo: Pacheco promete formalizar CPI na semana que vem
O Globo: Saiba como funciona uma CPI no Congresso

2. With 10.4% of the population vaccinated, 4,211 die of COVID-19 in one day

Brazil has had a moving average of over 1,000 daily deaths due to the coronavirus for 78 days. This week, the country registered 4,211 deaths within 24 hours, a record high. In a little over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has seen 345,000 people lose their lives, while 13.2 million Brazilians have been diagnosed with the disease.

Slightly more than 10% of Brazilians have been vaccinated so far. Scientists believe that priority groups – representing nearly 77 million people – will not be fully vaccinated until September. The National Immunization Program – once a global benchmark for efficiency with the capacity to vaccinate 2 million people every day – is now struggling due to vaccine shortages.

G1: Leia mais notícias sobre a pandemia
O Estado de S. Paulo: Vacinação de prioritários só termina em setembro
Our World in Data: Acompanhe a vacinação no Brasil e no mundo

3. Poll: Bolsonaro’s popularity and voting intention have dropped

A poll published this week reveals that more people disapprove of the way President Jair Bolsonaro has been governing the country. Disapproval rates increased from 56% to 60% from March 11th compared to results from the 31st. His approval rating fell to 33% from 38% in the same timeframe. The poll, conducted by XP/IPESPE, also revealed that just 21% of people classified the president’s handling of the pandemic as great or good – compared to 18% in a previous poll – and 61% classified it as bad or awful – compared to 58% on March 11th.

The poll also asked people about their preferences for the presidential election next year. Bolsonaro is in a technical tie with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in spontaneous voting intentions: 24% against 21% respectively. When people received candidate options, 28% said they would vote for Bolsonaro while 29% said Lula. In a simulation of the second round of votes, Lula would defeat Bolsonaro with 42% of the votes compared to 38%. In the poll from March 11th, they were in a dead heat with 41% of the votes for Bolsonaro and 40% for Lula.

Valor Econômico: Governo Bolsonaro é mal avaliado em pesquisa
O Estado de S. Paulo:
Lula cresce em pesquisa eleitoral
Confira a íntegra da pesquisa

4. Bolsonaro tries to appease executives and encourages them “to look on the bright side”

President Jair Bolsonaro invited executives to a dinner party with the aim of appeasing them with regards to demands they have made about the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Bolsonaro told the group – which featured important industry and financial market leaders including David Safra, Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi and André Esteves – that he is doing whatever he can to guarantee that the population is vaccinated, and that Brazil is a leader in vaccine production.

In a speech, the president criticized states and cities that have implemented lockdown measures and said he is optimistic about the future of the country, claiming that executives need to acknowledge that the country is improving. “You have to look on the bright side. Investors are confident in Brazil. All you have to do is look at our airport auctions. There is no better place than here,” he said. The auction of 22 airports that took place on Wednesday resulted in earnings of R$ 3.3 billion (USD $582.4 million) for the federal government. Revenue from these auctions reached R$ 3.1 billion (USD $546.2 million) over the R$ 186.2 million (USD $32.8 million) minimum price.

Valor Econômico: Bolsonaro se encontra com empresários em jantar
O Estado de S. Paulo: A empresários, Bolsonaro promete acelerar vacinação
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente é ovacionado em jantar com empresários

5. Official inflation surpasses ceiling, accumulating 6.10% over the last 12 months

The Brazilian official inflation rate has increased by 0.93% in March over February, the largest such rate since March 2015 when it stood at 1.32%. The Extended National Consumer Price Index over 12 months was at 6.10%, above the 5.2% upper limit set by the Central Bank. The main causes for the increase were fuel (11.23% increase in prices) and cooking gas (4.98%).

However, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), consumers also saw a decrease in some prices. Increases in food sector prices, for example, are slowing down. In March, the sector saw a 0.13% increase, half of the 0.27% registered in February and less than what was seen in January (1.02%) and December (1.74%). Specialists believe that the official inflation rate could reach 4.81% by year’s end, higher than the 4.52% registered in 2020.

O Globo: Inflação oficial em 12 meses acelera e supera teto da meta
Valor Econômico: IPCA tem maior taxa para março desde 2015