On The Listening Post this week: Brazil’s President Bolsonaro and COVID-19 misinformation. Plus, how well has the WHO performed as a key information source during the pandemic?
Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Turning COVID-19 denial into media spectacle
A president at odds with his advisers and scientists over COVID-19, who has said the virus is no worse than the flu, and whose supporters accuse the media of hyping up the story. Not Donald Trump, but Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.
Even as deaths in Brazil surpass China, President Bolsonaro continues to downplay the pandemic. After firing his health minister, he went on to attend a “protest” demanding military intervention to lift the lockdown. He also has the support of two of Brazil’s biggest media players, Record TV and SBT. Whether Bolsonaro is in denial, or just playing politics, they are standing firmly by his side.
Andrew Fishman – Managing editor, The Intercept Brasil
Gustavo Ribeiro – Founder, Brazilian Report
Bob Fernandes – Journalist and commentator
Leonardo Custodio, Postdoctoral researcher – Abo Akademi University
On our radar:
Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about a media storm in Pakistan, where a religious leader turned a televised coronavirus fundraiser into an attack on the broadcasters.
Who holds WHO accountable?
COVID-19 is the biggest news story most of us have ever seen. Of all the institutions responsible for getting information out, the World Health Organization (WHO) may be the most vital.
The WHO is a specialised agency of the United Nations borne out of the recognition that no single country can manage a global outbreak, and that an international health body is needed to rise above the politics of national interests.
In this pandemic, however, the WHO has been accused of falling short of its mandate and was unable to act independently in accessing and assessing the outbreak. The WHO was only granted access to Wuhan in mid-February. And not only did it fail to verify the early information on COVID-19 coming out of China, but it amplified it by repeating Chinese misinformation.
On January 14, the WHO tweeted that there was “no proof of human-to-human transmission” of the coronavirus. But at the time, media in Hong Kong and other countries, were already comparing the virus to SARS and saying it was most likely transmitting from people to people.
The Listening Post’s producer Nic Muirhead reports on the WHO, and how one of the most important news sources in the world may be compromised.
Lawrence Gostin – Director, O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University
Osman Dar – Global Health Programme, Chatham House
Stephen Buranyi – Journalist, The Guardian
Rana Mitter – Director, China Centre, Oxford University
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- 1.Brazil drought linked to Amazon deforestation
- 2.Beached Whale
- 3.Fruits of the Forest
- 4.Inside Rio’s favelas, the city’s neglected neighbourhoods
- 5.Slash & Burn | Part 1: Why Amazonian farmers use fire
- 6.Slash & Burn | Part 2: How Amazonian farmers manage fire
- 7.Slash & Burn | Part 3: Problems that occur with burn practices
- 8.Slash & Burn | Part 4: Alternatives to present practices
- 9.Slash & Burn | Part 5: How can things change?
- 10.How Brazil is halting deforestation in the Amazon
- 11.Environment vs Development | Amazon: Truth and Myth | BBC
- 12.Investigating Deforestation of the Amazon | Ross Kemp Extreme World
- 13.Brazil: Slaves To Fashion – Latin America Investigates
- 14.The fight for Brazil’s rainforest
- 15.Illegal Loggers: The Tribe Waging War in the Amazon
- 16.How Do You Plant a Rainforest?
- 17.Hold the Line Episode 1: Is it worth killing an ecosystem for the sake of development?
- 18.Hold the Line Episode 2: Who benefits from this so-called development?
- 19.Hold the Line Episode 3: What future will we have if our natural resources are gone?
- 20.Amazon rainforest fires could devastate the fight against climate change
- 21.Drone footage reveals aftermath of Amazon fires
- 22.Amazon fires: the tribes fighting to save their dying rainforest
- 23.Amazon rainforest indigenous people in fight for survival- BBC News
- 24.Brazil’s indigenous population fights back | DW Documentary (Environment documentary)
- 25.Amazon fires create respiratory issues for people of Brazil l ABC News
- 26.Amazon forest fire: What it tells us about deforestation
- 27.Hotspots: Surge in deforestation in Amazon rainforest
- 28.Deforestation creating climate issues for the Amazon rainforest
- 29.Bolsonaro blames Amazon rainforest wildfires on green groups | DW News
- 30.Special report: The Amazon rainforest ablaze
- 31.How One Rich American Is Helping to Burn the Amazon for Profit | Opinions | NowThis
- 32.Why Is the Amazon Burning, and What’s Next? | The New Yorker
- 33.Amazon fire ban – BBC News
- 34.Amazon fires: burning continues despite ban
- 35.Amazon rainforest fires could have global implications | 7.30
- 36.Amazon wildfires an international crisis | The Drum
- 37.Meet the Ranchers Who Claim the Brazilian Amazon is Theirs to Burn | The Dispatch
- 38.The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is burning. Who started the fires? | The Fact Checker
- 39.Fires rage across Amazon rainforest at record pace
- 40.Why is the Amazon burning? | CNBC Explains
- 41.Firefighter Rescues Baby Bird From Bolivian Wildfires
- 42.Populism and the pandemic: The great divide in Brazil
- 43.Bolsonaro won’t help with coronavirus, so Brazil’s favelas are helping themselves
- 44.Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Turning COVID-19 denial into media spectacle | The Listening Post (Full)
- 45.Why has Brazil been so badly hit by coronavirus?