“So what?”

When asked what he thought of the increase in the number of deaths from coronavirus, president Jair Bolsonaro replied: “So what? I'm sorry. What do you want me to do?” He doesn't understand that the question is not an attack. He does not understand that he could be polite and say that it was a tragedy, that he empathizes with those who are suffering and with those who will suffer, which will be the poorest, as always. Even though he didn't have any empathy, and we know he doesn't, he could at least pretend. The deplorable people who follow him will say that this is a positive trait, that he is sincere. That's a lie, he is not sincere. He's just a crude person who can barely hide the crimes he has committed. But let's pretend he is sincere. It is a problem that he is sincere in expressing a grotesque and irrational worldview. There are plenty of examples of extremely sincere and extremely grotesque historical figures who wreaked havoc. There is no need to give the most obvious example of all at this point. It would have been nice if most of us had identified this in the 2018 elections, but that didn't happen.
Death as king showing a mirror to humanity, by John Payne

Not everyone who voted for Jair in 2018 belongs to his base of deplorables, but a many of them do. This became clear now that justice minister Sergio Moro, the pseudo-herald of righteousness left the government and exposed some of the crimes that were taking place there. There are those who were deceived, yes, but they were surprisingly few. Now it is clear that most of Jair's voters voted for him because they think like him. At the time of the elections, I believed that Brazil could not harbor 58 million proto-fascists—that's the number of votes Bolsonaro got during the run off. At the time, I believed that at least half of them were duped. But I was wrong. Most of those who pressed 17 in the electronic ballot box were not fooled. Most of them are the same as Jair: they hate poor people, they hate culture, they hate reading and they have tremendous anger towards their own country. They repeat to the point of exhaustion the old idiocy uttered by Alexandre Garcia—a conservative journalist—about our people: supposedly, if we exchanged the Brazilian population with the population of any rich country, Brazil would become wonderfully rich while the rich country would end up poor. This belief is not just stupid, it is hateful. It's the type of garbage Roberto Alvim (the former secretary of cultural affairs fired for imitating Goebbels during a speech) believes.

Jair's deplorables think that the slums of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo exist because the poor made bad life choices and ended up there. They believe that the poor deserve to be poor. They do not understand that many of the rich countries that they worship (apart from the United States, which has very serious social problems) have societies that many decades ago decided not to allow such an absurd income disparity as the one which exists here in Brazil. In fact, even the elites of several rich countries contribute to make society better by paying more taxes, something that allows them to avoid the barbaric inequalities we face. Even so, the elites in these rich and social-democratic countries still exploit their peoples, since every social and economic elite exploits workers, regardless of giving them more or less scraps.

The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, etc, provide basic sanitation for the entire population. These countries have quality public education for all their children and adolescents. They all foster fundamental scientific research—i.e. they don't invest only in “applied science” in order to produce consumer junk. Contrary to what our backwards reactionaries believe, those countries encourage research into the humanities. After all, all of these countries value culture. In contrast, let us look at Brazil. We don't even come close to providing basic sanitation for all. Our promotion of research is a joke, regardless of the area—and this was true even when there were more resources available to universities. Our people have been sabotaged: they are underpaid, they have poor public healthcare (because our public system, although good, lacks proper funding), they lack basic sanitation, housing, they don't have good public education, and they can't even pay for private education because they have no resources to do so. To believe that such a people will magically succeed is extremely stupid. However, Jair's deplorables believe that. And here it is not just Jair's supporters: the entire Brazilian right believe in this shit, even right-wingers who pretend to oppose the president.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Jair and his minions have scorned danger, including the incompetent military personnel that surround him. Instigated by his three sons—and by Ernesto Araújo (minister of foreign relations), Abraham Weintraub (secretary of education), Olavo de Carvalho (Jair's ideological guru), and especially Paulo Guedes (finance minister)—, the president told the Brazilian people that there is a utilitarian choice to be made between: 1) fighting the pandemic through isolation and 2) recover the economy. We all know that the economy was not going anywhere before the pandemic, but Jair and his finance minister deny it. They say that the social isolation proposed by state governors to halt the spread of the virus is the cause of the recession. However, it is well known that the economy would not have grown even if all Brazilians came out of isolation and miraculously no one died—firstly, because the entire world has entered a gigantic recession; secondly, because Guedes' economic plan is terrible and does not help any nation that wants to prosper. Worst of all, they know it. To a greater or lesser extent, these lunatics are aware that they are lying when they say that the recession will kill more people from hunger than people would (or will) die with the end of social isolation due to Covid-19.

To make matters worse, we now know that Jair's irresponsible lines and attitudes had an effect. More and more people are abandoning isolation. Many do this because they believe in him. Many others leave isolation because they didn't receive any type of aid from the State. It's worth remembering that even the IMF—which is normally against the idea of governments increasing public spending—recommended that countries spend what was necessary in this emergency. Countries with larger debts than Brazil's—such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and others—are allocating resources to fight the outbreak to a much greater extent than ours. Meanwhile, the Brazilian federal government prefers the dogma of fiscal conservatism of the current finance minister. The infection curve among Brazilians only increases. The Imperial College in London released a survey showing that Brazil is now the country with the highest contagion rate among the 48 countries most affected by the coronavirus. Let us remember that the American government ignored the risk months ago, now the United States is approaching 70 thousand deaths. They will certainly reach 100 thousand, perhaps even 200 thousand, as the team led by doctor Anthony Fauci estimated.

Despite Trump talking a lot of bullshit, medical officials in the United States seem to have more control over what to report to the public. Here, Luiz Mandetta, who was already a mediocre health minister, was fired for refusing to lie shamelessly to the Brazilian people. He went against the obscurantist and genocidal orders of our president, who preaches an end to social isolation. In his place, Jair put Nelson Teich, a doctor who graduated from a public university—tuition free, fully funded by the government—but never worked a day in a public hospital. He used his expensive training, paid for by our taxes, to profit from wealthy patients. In pres conferences and interviews, Teich says nothing about anything. He doesn't say directly to the population “do this”, “don't do that” and “given these graphs, we predict this”. No. He stalls. His speeches are enigmatic, without clarity. Anyway, he is a terrible doctor. His tenure is contributing to the deaths of thousands of human beings. However, what can we expect from yet another one of Jair's deplorables? We know that they actively hope that many poor people die, preferably poor blacks and mestizos.

(Update after many months: Teich was the health minister for only a few weeks, he was later replaced by an army general who is not a doctor and who doesn't give two shits about the pandemic, name Pazuello. Pazuello actively spreads misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding hydroxychloroquine, just like president Jair Bolsonaro)

So, in response to the president, who asked “So what? What do you want me to do?”, I'll write the following: I want you and your deplorable followers to go hell. I cannot, in good conscience, say that I would feel bad if Jair, congressman Osmar Terra, general Braga Neto, Luciano Hang, Roberto Justus, Junior Durski (the last three are business owner who support the president), and others end up having health problems during this pandemic and after. There is no way to empathize with these people. It's one thing to make mistakes at one time or another, realize the error, however grotesque it may be, and try to redeem yourself in some way. It's quite another thing to actively make the world a worse place to live in. All of these individuals I mentioned are in positions of power and choose to use that power to negativelly affect the lives of hundreds of millions of human beings, including that of my family and friends. So, when they ask “What do you want me to do?”, there can be only one answer: we want you to rot in hell.

By Fernando Olszewski

(This article was originally posted April 30th, 2020 @ Exilado Metafísico, and now, many months after, we are approaching 200 thousand deaths by Covid-19 in Brazil)

. 'E daí? Lamento. Quer que eu faça o quê?’, diz Bolsonaro sobre mortes por coronavírus (G1)
. FGV: coronavírus não pode ser desculpa; economia não ia acelerar como imaginado (UOL Economia)
. Com encenação, Bolsonaro produz novo fiasco na crise do coronavírus: Presidente mentiu e fez discurso político para esconder desprezo pela pandemia (Folha de São Paulo)
. FMI pode mobilizar US$1 trilhão para combater pandemia (UOL Economia)
. Estudo mostra que Brasil tem maior taxa de contágio de covid-19 no mundo (Exame)