The Bovespa Index, the Sao Paulo stock exchange, hit a record high for the third consecutive day on Tuesday on the news that Brazil’s GDP had increased by 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021 — a particularly stunning achievement given the severity of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak in the country.
President Jair Bolsonaro, a conservative, has regularly opposed coronavirus measures like business lockdowns that have negative effects on the economy. Bolsonaro has referred to the Chinese coronavirus, which he personally survived last year, as a “little cold” and urged Brazilians to “confront it like a man, not a boy.” He has also organized mass events, outraging global public health authorities, encouraging Brazilians to support local businesses and strive for normalcy.
As Brazil’s government is a federal system, however, Bolsonaro does not have the power to prevent regional governors from imposing lockdowns. The governors of Rio de