U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro share many commonalities. Local media claim that the two leaders are both associated with their far-right political leanings, controversial remarks, impeachment risks and the firing of officials in retaliation. The two presidents also say that the risks of COVID-19 are exaggerated after failing to respond to the pandemic.
A more recent example includes their shared view on hydroxychloroquine, which is a malaria treatment that has not been proven to be effective in treating the novel coronavirus. Their advocacy of the unproven drug has been heavily criticized for having political motives.
Of the warning of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against the use of the medication based on an analysis on patients at hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Tuesday, President Trump said it was based on phony research, calling the medical researchers his enemies. “It is a bizarre claim in general, that a team of seven doctors would conspire to study the efficacy of an antimalarial drug to undermine the president politically,” said TheWashington Post. Asked about his use of the antimalarial drug, President Trump repeatedly said that the antimalarial drug has a great reputation and can keep people safe from COVID-19.
Brazilian President Bolsonaro, who is described as Brazil’s version of Donald Trump, is also promoting hydroxychloroquine. He said President Trump is taking the drug and he bought a box for his 93-year-old mother. President Bolsonaro has sparked controversy by underestimating the risks of the coronavirus and throwing a large barbecue party ignoring social distancing rules.
Experts say that their advocacy of the drug might be politically motivated. They argue that both leaders want to raise hopes for treatment and avoid criticism from the media because their responses to the pandemic are considered to be some of the worst.
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