(Natural News) The Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked deadly havoc around the world for months, and it now looks like it could actually topple a government.
Brazil was plunged into political chaos on Friday following the sudden, unexpected resignation of President Jair Bolsonaro’s celebrity justice minster, Sérgio Moro, who was angered by Bolsonaro’s firing of the country’s federal police chief just hours earlier, Zero Hedge reported.
Brazil’s financial markets immediately tanked after a blistering speech by Moro in which he accused the president of engaging in “political interference.”
But all of this turmoil comes as far-right Bolsonaro is facing a wave of anger about his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
“I was promised carte blanche to appoint all advisers, including judicial bodies,” Moro said on live TV hours after the sacking of federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo.
He, along with Moro, are noted for their suspected involvement in the Car Wash corruption probe.
“I can’t go on without ensuring the federal police its autonomy,” Moro said.
Zero Hedge added:
Immediately upon Moro’s resignation protests erupted in major cities, even in areas of Rio de Janeiro previously vehemently pro-Bolsonaro, in which people shouted from balconies and through windows: “Fora Bolsonaro! Fora Bolsonaro!” (“Bolsonaro out!”).
The protests began even as his speech was ongoing, and strikes a deep nerve signaling that the very explosive “Trump-style” rhetoric and unpredictable behavior which spurred Bolsonaro’s rise as an ‘outsider’ in the first place is now a major liability amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Roughly one week after Bolsonaro fired his popular Health Minister for following science on the pandemic, his once-heroic Justice Minister, Sergio Moro, just quit on live TV, accusing Bolsonaro of trying to interfere in ongoing investigations of the Federal Police: pic.twitter.com/IKusz70xFB
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 24, 2020
“Markets blew up as investors saw it as further proof that Bolsonaro’s administration is crumbling as it muddles its way through the coronavirus crisis, with speculation growing that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes may soon be out as well. The real sank more than 3% to as low as 5.73 per U.S. dollar. That was by far the worst performance among major currencies on Friday — and for the year. Stocks tumbled as much as 9.6%,” Bloomberg News added.
Military not comfortable with the president, either
Earlier this week, NPR reported that Bolsonaro attended a protest in the capital of Brasilia that included calls for, among other things, an end to social distancing measures that have been implemented by governors and mayors throughout the country, in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus. (Related: As covid-19 deaths surpass 50,000 in the USA, at what point do pandemic DENIALISTS become complicit in the ongoing fatalities?)
He’s been lambasted by critics for unnecessarily endangering his people by underestimating the potency of COVID-19, one time calling it “a little flu” while also engaging in calls to end the shutdowns.
Instead, Bolsonaro has called for keeping people 60 and above isolated as well as other people who are known to be at greater risk such as those with pre-existing conditions so as to avoid further job losses and business closures.
NPR noted that a recent poll of Brazilians found that 68 percent approve of the social distancing measures that have been implemented. But cellphone monitoring data shows that the number of people who are ignoring official stay-at-home guidelines has ticked up in recent days as the president has increasingly criticized them.
“Political analysts believe the increasingly unpopular Bolsonaro is engaged in a struggle to survive politically, and is positioning himself to divert blame for the vast virus-related damage toward his foes — notably governors, Congress, the judiciary and the media,” NPR reported.
The new political turmoil isn’t going to help stabilize the country, that’s for certain. But the collapse of South America’s largest country during a pandemic would also be catastrophic, experts believe.
What’s more, NPR notes that the recent protest attended by Bolsonaro took place in front of a military base, and while the president has close ties with the armed forces, several ranking members were said to have been uncomfortable with his appearance because it makes the force look political.