48.2 Overall Score (up 5.9 since Aug 1st.)


  • 40.9 Public Health
  • 28.8 Financial
  • 64 Fact-Based
  • 40.9 Public Health
  • 28.8 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 Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Brazil scores near the median on public health policy, owing heavily to its minimal emergency healthcare spending, limted testing, and lax lockdown.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $29.36
  • Travel restrictions 1
  • Tests/1,000 people 30.2
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Brazil’s financial response scores relatively weak, with little income support and a minimal stimulus package; even with the government authorizing a monthly $102 payment for informal workers, many have been 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 Oct 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 143,952
  • Death rate per 100K 677.2
  • Total cases 4,810,935
  • Cases per 100K 22,633
  • 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 123.74
2 Jun 11 Malls start reopening in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro 126.62

Differentiating Factors

  • 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
  • Brazil's institutions trying to fill leadership vacuum: As President Bolsanaro continues to downplay the severity of the crisis and spread misinformation, state and municipal governments are pushing to implement social distancing and other public health directives; the President has failed to consolidate political power as the COVID-19 situation worsens under his leadership. Read More
  • Chaos in the cabinet undermining response: Bolsonaro's cabinet has been destabilized, and public trust undermined, as two successive Health Ministers have either resigned or been fired for publicly disagreeing with the President over pandemic response. Read More
  • Suppression of COVID-19 data: Communication has been a major failure of the Brazilian government. In early June, the government announced it would stop publishing COVID-related data, prompting intervention by the Supreme Court. Since then, a coalition of media outlets have been compiling and publishing their own data, doubting the accuracy of the official statistics. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
  • 79.8
    Argentina 750,988
    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.

  • 48.2
    Brazil 4,810,935
    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.

  • 76.2
    Canada 158,758
    Per 1M

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

  • 39.1
    United States 7,233,043
    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