49.7 Overall Score (up 7.4 since Aug 1st.)


  • 63.4 Public Health
  • 44 Financial
  • 64 Fact-Based
  • 63.4 Public Health
  • 44 Financial
  • 64 Fact-Based

Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Despite relatively wide access to healthcare services, Brazil’s low GDP per capita, substantial inequality, and lack of hospital beds have presented barriers to its pandemic strategy.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 87%
  • GDP/capita $17,016
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 53.9
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 13
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 64.9
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 15.3

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Jan 1.)

Public Health Directives

Brazil has a relatively strong public health policy score, buoyed by strong restrictions on public gatherings, although it has low testing levels and a lax lockdown.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $49.83
  • Travel restrictions 1
  • Tests/1,000 people 30.2
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Brazil’s financial response scores near the median, with little income support and a minimal stimulus package; even with the government authorizing a monthly $102 payment for informal workers, many were unable to receive the funds.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 12%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

President Bolsonaro has perpetuated misinformation about the coronavirus, including comparing it to a "mild flu" and claiming that social distancing and mask-wearing are not effective, but Brazil has not limited press freedom with respect to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 3
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

Brazil has one of the highest rates of coronavirus cases, likely due to negligible health directives, poor public health response, and weak capacity before the virus hit.

  • Total deaths 195,411
  • Death rate per 100K 919.3
  • Total cases 7,700,578
  • Cases per 100K 36,228
  • Percent of positive tests NO DATA
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Jun 10 Businesses start reopening in São Paulo 126.62
2 Jun 11 Malls start reopening in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro 126.28

Differentiating Factors

  • Brazil unveils COVID-19 vaccination plan: The Brazilian government released its national vaccination plan, aiming to vaccinate 51 million people in the first half of 2021. Vaccination priority will be given to vulnerable groups, including healthcare workers, elderly people, and indigenous communities. Read More
  • Brazil's vaccination plan relies on AstraZeneca vaccine: In June 2020, Brazil made a $371 million bet on AstraZeneca's vaccine, developed in collaboration with Oxford University. AstraZeneca's vaccine was previously the world's frontrunner, but with Pfizer's vaccine now being widely adopted by the U.S. and the U.K., Brazil is under pressure to release a plan to secure doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Read More
  • Jair Bolsonaro states that he will not take COVID-19 vaccine: The Brazilian president clarified that "there's nothing to worry about" taking the vaccine and that it would be safe and available for free to the public. However, he also affirmed that it was his right not to take the vaccine and referred to masks as the "last taboo to fall." Read More
  • Brazilian study concludes that China's Sinovac is 78 percent effective: The study included more than 12,000 health workers, and led the government of the state of Sao Paulo to state that it will ask Brazil's federal health regulators for emergency approval to begin using it. Read More
  • Brazil allocates millions for emergency relief: The government will provide 65 million citizens with emergency relief, allocating more than $100 million for health-related actions and to help small businesses. Brazil has also dedicated $400 million towards vaccine research and entered into a vaccine alliance with Argentina. Read More
  • COVID-19 revealing systemic inequality in Brazil: The first recorded coronavirus death in Brazil was a Black domestic worker, with COVID-19 exposing deep racial and economic inequality in the country and disproportionately impacting the poor, who often live in crowded conditions without running water and poor sanitation. Read More
  • Favelas hit exceptionally hard: Informal employment and overcrowding have hindered low-income Brazilians' ability to socially distance. In Rio, COVID-19 patients in the favelas are dying at three times the rate of patients from the city's wealthiest district. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
  • 85.3
    Argentina 1,629,594
    Per 1M

    Argentina’s strong policy score is mainly due to its strong political response, characterized by clear, fact-based communication and regular press briefings by President Fernandez.

  • 49.7
    Brazil 7,700,578
    Per 1M

    Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.

  • 59.2
    Canada 585,400
    Per 1M

    Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

  • 36.2
    United States 20,184,236
    Per 1M

    Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million