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President Bolsonaro faces rising disapproval rating over COVID-19 – Datafolha poll

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – 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, March 16th, showed 54% of respondents regard Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis as bad or terrible.

Brazilian president faces rising disapproval rating over COVID-19
Bolsonaro faces rising disapproval rating over COVID-19. (Photo internet reproduction)

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 January 20th – 21th, when 48% of respondents expressed disapproval.

Bolsonaro’s current disapproval rating puts him in the middle of the pack internationally. Heavyweights such as French Emmanuel Macron (-57%), Spanish Pedro Sanchez (-59%), South Korean Moon Jae (-54%) and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga (-55%) all have equal or lower ratings than the Brazilian president.

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 federal government-owned biomedical center that is manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine in Brazil, said on Tuesday that Brazil faced its worst sanitary crisis on record.

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