Sao Paulo, March 17
Brazilians’ disapproval of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit a record high, according to a new opinion poll.
The Datafolha poll published by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper late on Tuesday showed 54% of respondents regard Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis as bad or very bad.
The poll of 2,023 people, carried out this week, showed a further decline in confidence in Bolsonaro over the pandemic since the previous Datafolha poll on Jan. 20-21, when 48% of respondents expressed disapproval.
COVID-19 has killed more than 282,000 people in Brazil and more than 11.6 million have been diagnosed with the respiratory disease, according to health ministry data. Only the United States has reported more deaths and cases.
Bolsonaro initially sought to portray COVID-19 as a “little flu” after the first case was registered in February 2020 and the slowness of Brazil’s vaccination campaign among a population of more than 212 million has severely strained hospitals.
Fiocruz, the Rio de Janeiro-based biomedical center that is manufacturing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil, said on Tuesday Brazil faced its worst sanitary crisis on record.