Folha asked experts: What was the country’s worst mistake in carrying out the pandemic?
Ignoring science and the lack of leadership in the country were the most common reactions that helped the country hit the sad 200,000 deaths from Covid-19 in a scenario of growing and uncontrolled health crisis on Thursday (7), doctors and researchers say .
See the answers below.
“The country’s biggest mistake in conducting the pandemic was not believing in science. We can see it at different times. The minister [Luiz Henrique] Mandetta left the ministry because he had a history of staying home, keeping his distance, and the president did not consent. The minister [Nelson] Teich left the ministry because he did not sign the recommendation on the use of chloroquine without evidence. And now we have another very delicate moment. There is all investment and planning for the vaccine and the president is discrediting the vaccine. The President does not follow the scientific recommendations. “
Julio Croda, Infectious Disease Specialist at Fiocruz
“Despising science. Not having a single voice, a single command that values science.”
Raquel Stucchi, Infectologist at Unicamp and Consultant at SBI (Brazilian Society for Infectious Diseases).
“Underestimating the extent of the tragedy. Underestimating the problem shows a technical ignorance of what an epidemic is and an absolutely unforgivable rejection.”
Margareth Dalcolmo, pulmonologist and researcher at Fiocruz
“Bolsonaro. The federal government’s greatest mistakes were to minimize the pandemic and to rely on miraculous cures. And the greatest mistake of the population was never to have taken preventive measures really seriously.”
Natália Pasternak, PhD in Microbiology from the USP and President of the Instituto Questão de Ciência
“A president of the republic had pledged to defend policies and attitudes that encourage the spread of the epidemic.”
Drauzio Varella, doctor and columnist for Folha
“It was the fact that the federal government has not taken basic hygiene measures to control transmission in the country, such as testing and tracing contacts, removing and wearing masks.”
Denise Garrett, vice president of Instituto Sabin, a nonprofit focused on the democratization of vaccines
“The measures taken in São Paulo and other states have proven to be effective. If we followed the proposals of the federal government in the case of Manaus, we would have more than a million deaths today. The states have had no greater success in boycotting the federal government openly and for delay in releasing emergency aid. Some states and cities were qualified in hospital care. However, they succumbed to economic pressures, especially the election calendar, which led to early and insufficient flexibility. “
Paulo Lotufo, epidemiologist at USP
“The lack of clear and converging messages at the federal, state and local levels, based on scientific evidence broadcast on radio, television and social networks, to protect yourself from coronavirus infections and spread Covid-19 to others avoid.”
Anderson Brito, virologist, graduated from USP and received his PhD from Imperial College
“I think two mistakes were crucial for us to achieve the current situation: the lack of synchronicity of information from federal, state and local authorities in connection with the politicization of the problem. This combination has lost the population without knowing it whom to trust and without focusing on fighting the virus.
Leonardo Weissmann, infectologist at the Instituto Emílio Ribas and consultant at the SBI.
“The biggest mistake in Brazil has been the lack of leadership and social cohesion necessary for quick and aggressive decision-making in implementing non-pharmacological measures to control interpersonal transmission.”
Márcio Bittencourt, Masters in Health, published from Harvard University and Doctor at USP University Hospital.
“It took us a long time to realize that masks play a key role. Some Asian countries adopted them earlier. The second is testing. It took us a long time to buy and obtain tests. At the start of the pandemic, we did sent home many suspected cases without testing and these people weren’t isolated Right, we didn’t track who had contact with them, if we had tests for the suspects, if we had isolated them and tested the contacts, we might have a limitation the spread of the virus. And finally communication. Anti-scientific information is that drugs work, prevent, treat. And now communication about vaccines. “
Renato Kfouri, Pediatrician and President of the Vaccination Department of the SBP (Brazilian Society of Pediatrics)
“The biggest mistake in running the pandemic in the country was political party interference in science!”
Rosana Richtmann, specialist in infectious diseases at the Instituto Emílio Ribas and member of the SBI (Brazilian Society for Infectious Diseases)
“The worst mistake was mistaking the economy for health. Health comes first and social isolation with protecting the poor would save lives and prevent so many unnecessary deaths.”
Gonzalo Vecina Neto, sanitary doctor and professor of public health at USP
“It took a long time to close the borders, a war of narratives (this remains the worst for me) within the government itself, culminating in an exchange of ministers and denial – mainly resulting in a huge waste of time on drugs without scientific evidence They were mistakes and the worst part is that we are still staying in them and jeopardizing the vaccination strategy. “
Ethel Maciel, nurse, epidemiologist and professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo
“The biggest mistake was not giving what was happening its due importance. Brazil was not affected at first. But we were sure it would come. Knowing what was happening out there and knowing what it meant, us could have prepped it properly. That could have led us to buy reagents sooner and mobilize public laboratories on a larger scale. It was the fault of the authorities, especially the federal agencies. “
Celso Granato, virologist, professor at Unifesp and clinical director of Grupo Fleury
“Change the health minister who had a plan and organized a technical team to respond to the epidemic.”
Ester Sabino, epidemiologist and researcher at the Department of Infectious Diseases and the USP Institute of Tropical Medicine