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Covid in Brazil ‘completely out of control,’ says Sao Paulo-based reporter

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Brazil has just reached a grim milestone for Covid-19, and a Sao Paulo-based reporter sees no improvement in the situation anytime soon.

“We have people dying of oxygen starvation, people are literally suffocating,” Patricia Campos Mello, a reporter from Folha de Sao Paulo told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith on Tuesday. “There are no intubation drugs, there are no intensive care beds. It’s a combination of a lack of planning and simply denying the severity of the disease.”

“The situation is completely out of control,” added Campos Mello.

Campos Mello comments came after Brazil registered a record daily number of Covid deaths on Tuesday, which saw more than 3,700 deaths, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health. According to the Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has the second most common Covid death in the world, followed by the US. In addition, less than 2% of the Brazilian population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

However, President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently attacked security measures related to Covid. Earlier this month, he told people to stop “whining” about the deaths and just move on. Campos Mello noted that the world can learn from the mistakes made in Brazil.

“I think the main lesson is that when you have a president or leader who is spreading disinformation and saying that people shouldn’t worry about not having to do social distancing, it is very, very serious, and it’s us I see the results now with all the deaths, “said Campos Mello.

Bolsonaro also replaced some of his senior military officials on Tuesday after sacking a defense minister as part of a major cabinet reshuffle on Monday. Campos Mello told CNBC’s Shepard Smith the political chaos was the result of Bolsonaro’s response to widespread pressure from the country’s mismanagement of the pandemic.

“President Bolsonaro’s approval ratings are falling, so he fired some ministers and today the chiefs of the armed forces resigned because they were pressured by Bolsonaro to curfew or take extreme measures that were almost excessive,” she said.

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Robert Dunfee