The latest miracle drug that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wants to use to fight the Covid pandemic is a nasal spray. He promised again last week in an interview with supporters in his residence in Brasília that he would send a delegation to Israel, where the substance with the scientific name EXO-CD24 would be tested. His opponents would “surely demonize that again,” he predicted.
It is always like this when the president is asked about the virus that is sweeping his country over again like a tsunami: He presents a drug that supposedly combats the epidemic before it breaks out. He relentlessly praised the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, which studies show does not help against Covid-19 and can have dangerous side effects. A remedy that is used against worms and lice can also be found in the recipe collection of Doctor Bolsonaro.
On the other hand, he vehemently rejects the only measures that experts believe will really help against the epidemic: a general mask requirement and a radical lockdown. Masks would cause headaches and poor concentration in children, and they also impaired the little ones’ feelings of happiness, he assured me, referring vaguely to a “university from Germany.” And about the lockdown he once said: “That will lead to the failure of our economy.”