ANKARA

Coronavirus infections continue to surge in Latin America as its epicenter Brazil exceeded 80,000 confirmed cases on Thursday.

The US-based Johns Hopkins University’s running tally counted 80,246 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,541 virus-related deaths. In all, 34,132 people have recovered from the epidemic.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic has been under fire for some time as his administration is more interested in reopening the economy.

Asked about the growing numbers on Tuesday, Bolsonaro responded: “So what?

“I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?,” he said, and added, referring to his middle name: “I’m Messiah but I can’t perform miracles.”

His reaction caused anger from those who say he is mocking the tragedy caused by the coronavirus.

The infections and death toll rise amid a political crisis which led the Supreme Court to authorize an investigation into allegations that Bolsonaro tried to influence the naming of a new police chief to control investigations against his three sons.

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