July 31st, 2020.
The Brazilian Central Bank has announced it will issue a new bank note, worth R$ 200, which will feature an illustration of the maned wolf, as an alleged attempt to counter economic effects caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Michelle Bolsonaro, Brazil’s first lady, tested positive for COVID-19, one day after holding a ceremony with several members of her husband’s cabinet. Meanwhile, president Jair Bolsonaro, who has been officially declared clear of the virus, embarked on a trip to the northeastern region of Brazil, one of the regions of the country where he is least popular, in order to inaugurate federally-funded public works. The World Bank has confirmed the appointment of Brazil’s former Education minister Abraham Weintraub as one of its executive directors, with a mandate until October this year. Finally, US president Donald Trump has suggested the postponement of this year’s presidential elections after the proposal of allowing mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, sparking furious reactions from his Democrat rivals.
Take a look at our highlights.
Brazil Central Bank to issue new R$ 200 bank note
The Brazilian Central Bank announced on Wednesday it will issue a new bank note until late August. The country’s National Monetary Council has approved the printing of a new bank note worth R$ 200, the currency’s largest, which will feature an illustration of the maned wolf, a unique specimen of the South American fauna currently under threat of extinction. According to Central Bank administrative director Carolina de Assis Barros, circa 450 million bank notes will be printed, totaling an amount of R$ 90 billion injected into circulation. The decision is being considered an effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic, since the economic crisis it generated created an increase in the demand for paper money.
Michelle Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19
Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release issued on Thursday by the Planalto Palace. According to the statement, president Jair Bolsonaro’s wife is in “good health condition and will follow all established protocols,” and is being accompanied by a medical team. On the day before her diagnosis, the first lady took part in a ceremony to launch the campaign “Rural Women, Women with Rights,” at the Planalto Palace; despite wearing masks, several members of the presidential cabinet who took part in the event, including Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina, and Woman, Family, and Human Rights minister Damares Alves, canceled their schedules for the rest of the week and scheduled tests to detect whether they have also been infected.
After being declared clear of COVID-19, Bolsonaro takes trip to Northeast Brazil
After finally being diagnosed as fully healed from the novel coronavirus, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro took a trip to the Northeastern region of Brazil, one of those in which he received the least amount of votes in the last presidential elections. Bolsonaro was welcomed as he left a local airport, where he rode a horse and wore a traditional leather hat, lowering his mask to greet and touch his supporters. During an event in which he inaugurated a water supply pipeline funded by the federal government to cities straddling the border between Bahia and Piauí, he made a speech in which he asked for the help of the Brazilian parliament, saying “Jair Bolsonaro alone will not be able to solve these problems.”
World Bank confirms Weintraub as executive director
The World Bank confirmed on Thursday former Brazilian Education minister Abraham Weintraub as the institution’s new executive director. Weintraub’s name was backed after an internal election held by the countries which make up one of the bank’s constituencies – in this case, along with Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, the Philippines, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago. According to an official statement, Weintraub is scheduled to take office next week, and will remain in it until October 2020, when the position will once again be open for a new election.
Trump suggests postponement of US presidential elections
United States president Donald Trump has suggested the postponement of the country’s presidential elections, scheduled for November 3rd. When discussing the possibility of mail-in voting, he posted on his Twitter account an outraged protest: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” A delay in the elections, however, still has to be approved by the US Congress, and most of the Democrats, who are currently the majority party, have expressed their opposition to the idea and criticized the president for raising the issue amidst a terrible moment for the American economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.