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In the age of coronavirus, this one thing unites populist leaders

Authoritarian premiers have responded differently to the outbreak but share a common disregard for their people

By Jonathan Lis  

Marcos Correa/DPA/PA Images

Just before Easter, two particularly grim things happened in Brazil. It became the first country in the southern hemisphere to confirm over 1,000 deaths from coronavirus; and its president, Jair Bolsonaro, happily mingled and shook hands with supporters on the streets of Brasilia. The two events may or may not be linked. The key point is that the question did not trouble him.

Coronavirus is not only a global human and economic catastrophe, but a series of political earthquakes. Part of…

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