There are two types of twins – identical and fraternal. One fertilized egg splits and develops two babies with exactly the same genetic information to form identical twins. They differ from fraternal twins, where two eggs are fertilized by two sperm and produce two genetically unique children. They are no more alike than individual siblings born at different times.
Cesar Chelala, a global Health Consultant sarcastically but strongly argued that he has powerful reasons to believe that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and United States President Donald Trump are fraternal twins. Although many people may question this assumption, Cesar Chelala stressed that he cannot find any other plausible explanation for why President Bolsonaro so closely follows President Trump’s script, even though President Trump clearly is ahead of him in terms of brutally stirring domestic unrest.
According to Cesar Chelala, their “twinship” is manifested on how both leaders have responded to the coronavirus pandemic, showing their insensitivity and ignorance. As an example, discounting the dangers of the epidemic and anxious for approval, both presidents meet their supporters without wearing masks and brushing aside the basic principle of interpersonal distancing to avoid contagion. They also act oblivious to the fact that even asymptomatic persons can be contagious, something impossible to know just by looking at them. And this happens as both in the United States and in Brazil the pandemic carves its course unrelentingly.
Dr. Robert Dalton of Leeds University stated that in a clear disregard for what medical experts say, both President Bolsonaro and President Trump have promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID 19. President Bolsonaro recommends the use of the drug to his supporters, insisting he keeps a box in hand should his 93-year-old mother need it. Trump, without any scientific evidence, prides himself on having taken the drug to prevent the infection. At the end of May 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) suspended the international trial of hydroxychloroquine. The international agency had concerns that it provokes a “significantly higher risk of death” compared to patients who didn’t receive the drug, according to a study published in the medical journal the Lancet.
Dr. Robert Dalton further noted that this is happening as Brazil continues to be one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. On May 26, Brazil reported 1,039 deaths while the United States reported 592. Until very recently, the United States reports over 100,000 deaths and more than 1.7 million people infected. These figures are likely to be an underestimate, since public health experts estimate that the actual figures on the pandemic in Brazil are 15 times higher than those officially released.
Cesar Chelala stressed that the coronavirus pandemic, like few other events worldwide, has clearly exposed the best and the worse in people. The best, because it has shown the heroic work of hundreds of thousands of health workers who, risking their own lives and in many cases without basic protective equipment, have saved millions of people from dying of a deadly infection. The worse, because leaders like President Bolsonaro and President Trump, with their cavalier attitude towards the pandemic, have unnecessarily put millions of citizens at risk.
According to Cesar Chelala, the Trump administration has sealed the border to immigrants and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to deport thousands of migrants held in detention centers. Many among those who have been sent back to their countries are infected with the coronavirus. Guatemala’s health minister, Hugo Monroy, said, “The United States has become the Wuhan of the Americas.” Amnesty International USA has called on the Department of Homeland Security to place a moratorium on deportations.
Both in Brazil and in the United States, the number of infected people continues to increase rapidly. Sᾶo Paulo, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, has become a hot center of the pandemic, and hospitals are overwhelmed. According to a study conducted at London’s Imperial College, Brazil has now the most cases and deaths in Latin America, and is the country with the highest rate of transmission. The infection is reaching indigenous communities living in remote areas of the Amazon rainforest and is starting to spread in the favelas, marginal areas in Rio de Janeiro and home to approximately 13 million people. “Yet, perhaps the biggest threat to Brazil’s COVID-19 response is its president, Jair Bolsonaro,” stated an editorial in the Lancet.
In 2019, Human Rights Watch denounced how indigenous people in Brazil who had organized themselves to defend their land had been attacked and murdered by people involved in illegal deforestation. Since assuming power, Bolsonaro has scaled back environmental protections and disregarded indigenous people’s rights. In March 2020, several NGOs reported Bolsonaro to the UN Commission on Human Rights for encouraging indigenous genocide. Traditional indigenous lifestyles, he declared in 2019, were akin to “prehistoric men.”
“Bolsonaro’s personality is extremely ill-suited to a pandemic. He can’t unite the country, because his whole modus operandi is based on sowing division,” said Gustavo Ribeiro, founder of The Brazilian Report, a politics site in Brazil. Exactly the same words could be applied to Donald Trump, who has incited people to rebel against the lockdown imposed by the authorities of several states in the United States.
Following nation-wide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, President Trump called Minneapolis demonstrators “thugs” and threatened to send the United States military with a green light to open fire on those who steal goods or damage property. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump tweeted. This irresponsible comment was widely condemned.
President Trump’s actions led Physicians for Human Rights USA state, “While the deaths of Black people at the hands of police is a centuries-long phenomenon, the current United States president is actively fueling discord and intolerance. A true leader would offer empathy and strive to help heal the nation. Time and time again, President Trump instead has opted to heighten divisions and inflame hatred and distrust.”
Given these circumstances and the great variability of manifestations of the coronavirus, it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming months and for how long we will have to deal with the effects of this pandemic. During an interview with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro, Eric Trump, who is a mouthpiece for his father, suggested that the Democrats were using the pandemic to undermine his father’s popularity. “And guess what, after November 3, coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen,” said Eric Trump, the president’s son. Only people of a callous nature can deny the horrendous impact of this terrible pandemic.
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