Brazil surges past 600K COVID-19 deaths

Brazil surges past 600K COVID-19 deaths
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Brazil's Health Ministry on Friday said the country has climbed past 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, making the country the second in the world to reach that milestone.

As of Friday, Brazil recorded 18,172 new coronavirus cases and 615 new deaths, according to Reuters.

Brazil is the second country to reach the milestone of 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, after the United States.

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Earlier this month, the U.S. hit a grave milestone, surpassing 700,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus. 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last seven days, the United States has seen a total of 9,948 deaths linked to COVID-19 and has reached more than 708,700 deaths.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been vocal about his disdain for vaccines and has boasted about his unvaccinated status in the past. In September, he was forced to isolate shortly after attending the United Nations General Assembly and one of his aides tested positive for coronavirus.

He also called for those who have been vaccinated to no longer wear masks to protect themselves and others from the virus.

“Whoever is against this proposal is because they don’t believe in science, because if they are vaccinated, there is no way the virus can be transmitted,” he said at the time.

The Brazilian Health Ministry has reported that just 12 percent of the nation's citizens have been fully vaccinated.