Brazil becomes 2nd nation to top 300,000 COVID-19 deaths

Brazil has topped 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, becoming the second country to do so amid a spike in infections that has seen the South American country report record death tolls in recent days

SAO PAULO — Brazil topped 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, becoming the second country to do so amid a spike in infections that has seen the South American country report record death tolls in recent days.

The United States reached the grim milestone on Dec. 14, but has a larger population than Brazil.

With daily death tolls at pandemic highs, state governors and mayors in Brazil have expressed fears that April could be as bad as March for the country’s overwhelmed hospitals.

President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday held a meeting with the heads of other government branches to coordinate anti-virus efforts. But he didn’t propose any policies to deal with the pandemic.

Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic, insisting the economy must be kept humming to prevent worse hardship, and he has criticized health measures imposed by local leaders.