South America

Even as the U.S. surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths this week, Brazil has reached its own dark coronavirus marker.

COMMENTARY

We know one likely reason Brazil’s coronavirus emergency is in full meltdown. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calls the pandemic a “media hoax” and has done everything in his power, like hosting a large pro-Bolsonaro street rally last weekend, to undermine social distancing.

A sitting duck. That's what South America was a few years ago when Zika first struck. The continent had never recorded a case of the mosquito-borne virus. And everyone was susceptible.

"So you get this huge raging epidemic that blows through the population, usually very fast and infects a pretty high percentage of the population," says Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

International patients come to South Florida facilities bring millions of dollars, and as the Miami Herald reports, the new owners of Miami’s Metropolitan Hospital may increase efforts to capitalize on that market.