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Latin America, Corona, Health, Budget, and others

Revisionism, obscene language and macabre images. On the American continent, from North to South, the virus pandemic seems to have unleashed the Demons. Among them were Mephistophelian beings, which one should recognize, more precisely, as “sleepers”, since they were there long before the outbreak of the plague and seemed to wait only for a command sign for their use. This refers, for example, to US President Donald Trump’s opportunistic sabre-rattling towards China, Venezuela and Russia in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, imitated by the Jair Bolsonaro Regime.

We also observe cunning, domestic authoritarian activities in Chile – such as the use of intelligent cameras and drones for targeted social control – as well as the Offensive of Ecuador’s justice system, controlled and politicized by the US Department of Justice, with the recent conviction of former President Rafael Correa.

The radical right-wing Repertoire of the governments of the USA and Brazil also includes a necrophilia bordering on abomination, such as Donald Trump’s shrugging allusion that one should settle for at least 100,000 to 240,000 Covid-19 deaths. Jair Bolsonaro expressed it even more without hesitation. During the recent marches of his supporters, he blew up quarantine and social dissociation with the trivialization, “70 percent of Brazilians are infected anyway” and”those who have to die will die”.

Trump and Bolsonaro are Covid-19-deniers of the first hour. During their most recent meeting in the United States, the US president addressed the outbreak of the Virus in Brazil in early March and lavished praise on Bolsonaro. However, under massive pressure from academia, parliament and the public, Trump moved away from radical negationism and adopted his emergency program, which so far, however, favors large - scale and financial capital and faces a dilapidated and overstretched public health system.

Neo-liberal breeding ground and macabre images

As was to be expected, the Covid-19 disease has devastating effects in the majority of Latin American countries due to the extensive destruction of their public health system. A study by the Pan American Journal of Public Health warned years ago that Uruguay, Costa Rica and Cuba were the only countries on the continent to comply with the Latin American regional agreement signed in 2014, which recommends a 6 percent investment of gross domestic product in the public health sector; an issue that is still 2 percent below the OECD average.

In Argentina, the government of Mauricio Macri succeeded in bringing down the public health system to the ground as early as 2018. The Administration went so far that by decree it abolished the Ministry of Health and demoted it to the subordinate “Secretariat of State”. After that, health care literally bled out. The planned financing was cut in two ways: in relation to the inflation forecast by three times and in relation to the dollar exchange rate even by six to seven times.

In Brazil, in 2019, the budget of the health care system built up by the governments of the Workers ' Party/PT for thirteen years and successfully anchored between the federal, state and local governments suffered a cut of 20 billion Reais – equivalent to about 4 billion euros-after the adoption of the law freezing public spending by the government of Michel Temer.

In Ecuador, the public health system under the government of Lenin Moreno suffered a 36 percent budget cut between 2018 and 2019. The decision was an “adjustment” to the austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund and resulted in a cut of 66 million US dollars; a not particularly impressive sum of money, but relevant to the scale of Ecuador. The cut in funding weakened infrastructure and care, resulted in the mass layoff of medical personnel and dramatically limited the country’s preparedness for emergencies. Under these conditions, the Moreno government began to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ecuador was soon the third country in Latin America to record the highest number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, after Brazil and Chile. If the small population compared to Brazil is taken into account, Ecuador took the inglorious first place of mass contagion and highest death rate in Latin America within a few weeks. According to public health expert Esteban Ortiz, the explosion of the pandemic in the small country is partly due to the “paltry” epidemiological surveillance that was set up only weeks after the international outbreak of the pandemic.

As in the other countries of Latin America, including Cuba, Ecuador was also affected by the Virus by air. “Most cases were imported, so to speak, countless Covid-19 infected flew in from abroad,” Ortiz reports. They only measured their temperature and went home instead of immediately taking them to an epidemiological information center, isolating and treating them, Ortiz criticized.

In Ecuador’s coastal province of Guayas, more than 70 percent of those infected are still concentrated. At the end of March, the military and police began removing bodies from homes after the “mortuary system” of the port of Guayaquil failed, causing delays in forensic services and funeral homes during the 15-hour curfew. In view of the appalling conditions, the residents of Guayaquil distributed Videos of abandoned and burning corpses on the streets with cries for help from relatives on social networks that their dead should be buried.

Macabre images went around the world. But President Lenín Moreno hastened to discredit images and Covid19 data as “Fake news” of the social networks-more precisely, ascribing them to a “campaign” of his predecessor Rafael Correa – but his popularity suffered a precipitous slump to barely 7 percent due to his false start and serious mistakes, according to the poll institute Click Report.

Bolsonaros “Death-Ministry Of”

Meanwhile, since mid-March, Bolsonaro, a former Brazilian paratrooper, has called for at least three public demonstrations against the social and economic quarantine measures recommended by WHO and enacted by his own health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta. The dispute, which even the generals around him had advised against – after Bolsonaro alluded to it, a “profiling of the minister” – culminated in mid-April in Mandetta’s dismissal and his replacement by Nelson Teich, a “health entrepreneur” from the environment of the Elite Jewish Hospital Albert Einstein in São Paulo. “Mandetta’s line”, said President Bolsonaro in a subsequent justification with monstrous choice of words, did not take into account the concerns of the economy and”focused almost exclusively on the defense of life”. The Brazilians had to read the sentence several times, so obscenely the words sting in the eye and sound in brain and heart.

But the new Minister, completely alienated from the public health system, also made devastating headlines on the day of his nomination. In a lecture from 2019, Teich had explained that when choosing between the allocation of funds for the treatment of a young patient or a senior citizen with the same clinical picture, a health"Manager” had to make a choice of age. “What should he do? Save the old patient, who anyway suffers from multiple old age diseases, or the young patient, who still has the whole life ahead of him?“provoked pond with the macabre comparison.

According to the critical Brazilian media, Bolsonaro has achieved his goal of transforming the Ministry of health into a “death ministry” by nominating Teich and a “supervising general” as deputy minister and making necropolitics a state doctrine.

The comparison is by no means missed. After the number of Coronavirus deaths had increased by nearly 82 percent in the state of Sao Paulo alone in mid-April, the Brazilian army sent out an urgent questionnaire to dozens of municipalities in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo to inquire about the burial capacities of their cemeteries. Images of dozens of unearthed graves in an improvised Municipal Cemetery in São Paulo and the gruesome mass burials in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, already suggest the ghostly scenario of the Covid-19 mass death that is expected for the month of May.

A survey conducted by the Atlas Político Polling Institute found that 61 percent of the population strongly disapprove of Bolsonaro’s Corona Management, which is eloquently confirmed by the almost nightly balcony protests with pot-bang rituals, but at least 33 percent of Brazilians support the head of State, who is described as a “death worshipper”, follow his Hamelner rat-catcher call for public disobedience to quarantine and sacrifice themselves to a mad mass contagion with a fatal outcome.

The Covid19 policies of Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, is also in the cross-fire of sharp criticism. Again, the head of State is accused of acting as a calculating Manager rather than a head of government. For example, its awarding 3 billion US dollars “to save the economy”. But not in the form of a one-off support by the state, but as credit, and on top of that mediated by private banks. In stark, outrageous contrast to this is the awarding of a shameful “Covid Bonus” of just 60 euros to Chile’s poor and pensioners, which was approved at the end of March, but only paid out three weeks later.

The sanitary measures of Piñera and his health minister Jaime Mañalich have been the subject of constant protests. Especially because of the so – called” cuarentena dinámica”, which is selective, geographically very limited and does not even extend to the entire capital Santiago – the center of mass contagion in the country-but only to selected districts.

Mañalich, a former private family doctor of Piñera, has been the author of absurd words and an endless chain of bombastic messages and wrong decisions since the beginning of the pandemic. On 20 March, in a television interview, the Minister resisted the complete quarantine with the idiotic phrase: “it is completely stupid and unnecessary-What if the Virus mutates to good?”.

Day in and day out, the head of state and his Minister boast about the allegedly low Covid-19 lethality in Chile and make comparisons with Germany. But doctors and nurses accuse Piñera and Mañalich of a dangerous triumphalism with the concealment of data. The minister of Health is accused by his own officials of a lack of transparency, even an “obscurantism”. In addition to the accusation of constant case underestimation, the health experts warn of an opportunistic strategy to delay necessary safety measures, especially with regard to the health of Chile’s seniors.

Mañalich’s latest recommendation caused national outrage. With the questionable assurance that” the probability that those recovered from Covid-19 will become ill is practically zero”, the Minister stepped up to the polemical"Known Traveller “Propaganda train of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and proposed the introduction of an” immunity certificate “for” Corona-recovered”. “Given the growing number, we will create a discharge or immunity card for people who have already overcome this disease or developed positive antibodies, as we will begin testing in two more weeks. And these people with this registration card will be exempt from any kind of quarantine or restriction,” the health Minister said at a conference.

The Initiative also attracted international criticism, for example from the renowned Italian virologist Andrea Crisanti. “This is enormous stupidity. Honestly, I don’t even want to hear about it. It is far from known whether these antibodies are productive, how long they live … talking about immunity at this stage seems to me out of place for all reasons. We have no evidence that overcoming them protects against re-infection” " Crisanti said.

“They want to kill the people,” a critical Chilean Website called Piñera’s decision to reopen the country’s Shopping Malls after a one-month Lockdown. The president, himself a financial market billionaire, has been exerting pressure in this regard for weeks and of course acted under massive pressure from the wealthy one percent in the country, including Carlos Soublette, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago. From Soublette, for example, comes the necrophilic phrase inspired by Bolsonaro, “we cannot kill economic activities to save lives.”

” In the Dilemma between economy or life, I Choose Life " – Argentina shows how things are different

Basically, only three countries – Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina – have taken tougher Lockdown measures since the outbreak of the virus on the Latin American continent after the first signs of the pandemic; in El Salvador, even with a billion-Dollar Plan for social and Commercial Protection. The other governments ranged from partial quarantines, measures to protect the economy, to strikingly “relaxed” but irresponsible positions like those of Mexico, which under massive criticism forced the López Obrador government to introduce partial quarantines in the meantime.

The title above, on the other hand, was an early warning and at the same time a sincere profession of faith by Argentine President Alberto Fernändez. With 45 million inhabitants, the second largest country with the third largest population in South America, Argentina already decided at the beginning of March to a radical, complete Lockdown, which is to be gradually eased in May. The result: 3,144 infected, with 151 deaths – Subnotes granted, the lowest pandemic number between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego.

With what means this success could be achieved, which secures the president the record approval of 93.8 percent of Argentines, comments The until recently still oppositional weekly Perfil, to which the author of this reflection page report agrees without restrictions:

The pandemic has shown that political leaders are needed who are less driven by delusion to solve the needs of a population that feels like an autonomous entity. The reaction of many heads of state and government to the crisis was deplorable. They continue to believe that people obey messianic leaders who bring the economy to life. Jair Bolsonaro, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Donald Trump and Alí Khamenei suspected that they could talk down the crisis with a mixture of mysticism and arrogance. Most likely, they will lead their countries into a disaster that can cost them office. The political future of Donald Trump is so bad that he is likely to lose the elections in November and the Ayatollah Regime in Iran will also fall apart.

In Argentina, the authorities took the Problem seriously. Alberto Fernández exercises a modern leadership that questions the people and experts, integrates the Opposition and takes decisive measures. People have seen how he worked to protect their lives. He has used an efficient form of political communication that produces more decisions and actions than exhaustion in words. In the midst of widespread fear and agony, people have seen their top leaders leave aside Egos and ideological discrepancies to truly protect them. The result is a huge increase in their image, including all the authorities that have faced the crisis.

For references please see the original Post.