Brazil hits grim milestone as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

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Just 27 days have passed since Brazil, which has the world’s second-largest outbreak after the United States, reached a million cases. It has accelerated since then, hitting a plateau of nearly 40,000 confirmed new cases per day in recent weeks, according to government figures.

Despite the rapid spread of the virus, Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has pressured local governments to lift lockdown restrictions.

By contrast, 43 days passed between 1 million and 2 million confirmed cases in the United States, where the spread of COVID-19 eased briefly in May before accelerating again in June, according to a Reuters tally.

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, is home to around 210 million people – roughly two-thirds the size of the U.S. population.

In both countries, contagion has exploded as the virus gains steam in new areas far from the largest cities. A patchwork of state and city responses has held up poorly in Brazil in the absence of a tightly coordinated policy from the federal government.