Brazil is second only to the U.S. in cases of COVID-19 and in COVID-19 deaths. Their President Jair “Trump of the Tropics” Bolsonaro has downplayed the coronavirus pandemic more than any other (South) American president. Bolsonaro, like the guy you don’t actually know on Facebook but you DO know that he’s definitely not an infectious disease expert, has employed all the standard denial arguments….” it’s just a cold”, “even if you get it you probably won’t die”, etc.

Bolsonaro has also stubbornly doubted medical experts, criticized governors and mayors…(checks notes. Ok, this IS Bolsonaro we’re talking about) and is now being treated with hydroxychloroquine (let me check those notes again.)

I have to admit something. It’s something about myself I’m not proud of. When I hear a story like this it is very, VERY difficult for me not to…well…gloat.

I know, it’s a terrible impulse. A guy like Bolsonaro getting a deadly disease isn’t going to make the larger situation any better. It’s just the appeal of a science-denier getting their, for lack of a better word, comeuppance.

There’s something perversely satisfying about someone being hoisted by their own petard. When it’s a homophobic, sexist, racist creep like Bolsonaro the impulse-to-gloat is all the stronger.

I have to remind myself not to give in to that impulse. I hope the Brazilian president recovers and maybe, just maybe, has a Scrooge-like realization of the error of his ways. However, Bolsonaro has only been COVID-positive for a few days. He’s been a raging d-hole for most of his life so, barring a visit from the Ghosts of Pandemics Past, Present and Future I don’t expect him to buy whatever Brazil’s version of a Christmas goose is.

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