Viral Political Marketing Notes: “The Naked Mayor Blogs While Rio Burns With Fever”

https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/denguerio.png
Reported cases of dengue, by month, in Rio de Janeiro. The darker the area, the greater the number of reported cases. This year: 206.8 cases/100,000 inhabitants in Rio. Reported cases this year: 31,552, compared with 10,464 last year. Source: Estado de S. Paulo today.

… we need a communications policy and an ongoing dialogue with the mass media that will guarantee that the sense of risk is proportionate to the actual risk. –César Maia, from the ex-blog

The Brazilian Ministério do Planejamento carries the following angry editorial today from the Jornal do Brasil about the dengue outbreak in Rio de Janeiro and the city’s outgoing mayor, Cesar “The Naked” Maia.

If you live here in Brazil, you have already survived the apocalyptic yellow fever epidemic of 2008 that really wasn’t — unless you panicked, overdosed on the vaccine when you really had no need of taking it in the first place, and died from that. As a few people did.

Now, courtesy of the same mosquito, here is the great dengue outbreak of 2008 — which by all accounts really is quite a serious public health problem.

See also

There is one thing that I do not quite understand about the current crisis, however, which is getting coverage worthy of the OJ Simpson trial here.

Dengue outbreaks, which are concentrated in the rainy season (January to March) — like yellow fever outbreaks — seem to be cyclical, spiking up every few years or so.

And the outbreak in 2002, with 155,242 cases, was much worse, was it not?

This would not excuse lack of preparation, planning and proper response during this outbreak, of course — responsibility for which is quite the political hot potato.

The fear of death aside, then, it is interesting, as a watcher of other people’s C-SPAN in a strange land, during a municipal election year, to see this outbreak being treated as something like Chairman’s Maia’s Hurricane Katrina.

Here in São Paulo, the government media blitz regarding “here is how to prevent dengue” was very visible (and well done, we thought.)

Me and the Mrs. even made sure we did not leave any stagnant water around for the mosquito to breed in, even though our neighborhood is probably not at great risk.

We are not too worried about dengue, that is, but we are much more worried about it than we were about yellow fever, despite the boob tube’s attempt to make us very, very, very afraid. See

The JB editorializes. I do not necessarily endorse the sentiment. I merely translate pra inglês ver.

Enquanto pacientes com dengue aguardavam ontem três horas por socorro em hospitais sem médicos, e doentes lotavam as tendas de campanha, o prefeito César Maia continuava escondido na internet e nas amenidades de sua agenda. Só saiu do gabinete para o Palácio da Cidade, onde recebeu vereadores e almoçou com oficiais do Exército. O JB o procurou para saber o que foi discutido, mas a resposta veio por e-mail. Maia voltou a negar a epidemia, que já matou 44 pessoas no Rio este ano: “Há um surto epidêmico em Jacarepaguá”. Disse ter visitado os mesmos hospitais municipais onde ninguém o vê. Irritado, o governador Sérgio Cabral cobrou a abertura dos 100 postos de saúde do município que o prefeito insiste em manter fechados nos fins de semana.

While patients with dengue waited three hours for treatment at hospitals without doctors, and sick people crowded into the tents of the [Air Force] field hospitals, mayor César Maia continued hiding out on the Internet and in events on his ceremonial calendar.

Mayor Maia blogs. Blogs copiously, in fact, as I know from subscribing to his daily “ex-blog” newsletter. I have often wondered myself how he finds the time to do anything else.

He only left his office to go to City Hall to meet with aldermen and lunch with Army officers. The JB tried to find out what they discussed, but the response came back by e-mail. Maia once again denied that an epidemic, which has killed 44 so far this year, exists: “There is an epidemic outbreak in Jacarepaguá.” He said he visited the same city hospitals where no one reports having seen him. Irritated, Governor Cabral demanded that the city open 100 clinics that the mayor insisted remain closed during the weekend.

A estudante Jéssica Rosa de Souza, 19 anos, o construtor civil Adilson Silvestre Affonso, 50, e a dona de casa Patrícia Antunes dos Santos, 27, têm mais em comum do que a sina da espera por atendimento em um hospital da rede municipal. Ontem, enquanto aguardavam por mais de três horas que parentes com suspeita de dengue fossem atendidos, exorcizavam a figura e a postura do prefeito do Rio diante da epidemia da doença na cidade com um única pergunta: onde está Cesar Maia?

Student Jéssica Rosa de Souza, 19, and construction worker Adilson Silvestre Affosno, 50, and housewife Patrícia Nunes dos Santos, 27, have more in common than just a number on the waiting list to be seen at a city hospital. Yesterday, while they waited for more than three hours for relatives with suspected cases of dengue to be trerated, they exorcised the personage and posture of the Rio mayor in the face of the sickness in the city with a single question: Where is Mayor Maia?

É pouca vergonha demais. Enquanto faltam médicos nos hospitais, o prefeito está escondido no gabinete – desabafa Patrícia, com Paloma, de apenas quatro meses de vida, no colo. – Também é preciso ter coragem para ser prefeito.

“It’s just too shameful. While hospitals are lacking doctors, the mayor is holed up in his office,” Patrícia complains, holding Paloma, four months, in her lap. “You also need courage to be mayor.”

Ontem, em mais um dia de rotina desde que os números da dengue começaram a explodir na cidade, Cesar Maia cumpria agenda pré-programada. Desta vez, saiu do seu gabinete, no Centro Administrativo, na Cidade Nova, para os salões do Palácio da Cidade, em Botafogo. Ali, recebeu vereadores, alguns dos futuros secretários municipais e ainda almoçou com oficiais do Comando Militar do Leste (CML).

Yesterday, during another routine day since the numbers of dengue cases started exploding in the city, Maia stuck to his preprogrammed schedule. This time, he left his office in Cidade Nova and headed to City Hall in Botafogo, where he met with city lawmakers, some future city government department heads, and then lunched with officers from the Eastern Military Command.

Acho essa postura uma covardia. Olha a situação dos hospitais do Rio – diz, indignado, o construtor civil Adilson Affonso, que consolava a mulher, Aneliza Affonso dos Santos, 51, na fila para ser atendida no Hospital Souza Aguiar. – Já que as autoridades não conseguem acabar com o mosquito da dengue, que pelo menos dêem um atendimento decente nos hospitais da cidade.

“I find this stance cowardly. Just look at the condition of Rio’s hospital,” an indignant Adilson said, consoling his wife, Aneliza, 51, as she waited in line at the Souza Aguiar hospital. “Since the authorities have not been able to do away with the dengue mosquito, they should at least give us decent treatment at the city hospitals.”

//i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/denguerioscielo.png?t=1207159722” contém erros e não pode ser exibida.
“Historical progression of three dengue epidemics in Rio de Janeiro.” Source: [An entire football team of multiple authors], “The epidemic of dengue and hemorrhagic dengue fever in the city of Rio de Janeiro, 2001/2002” Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 37(4):296-299, jul-ago, 2004

Em busca do prefeito

In search of [the naked] mayor

A reportagem do JB percorreu ontem os três endereços oficiais do prefeito para saber onde ele cumpriria mais um dia de agenda – em gabinete e dando entrevistas por e-mail. Depois de passar pela Casa da Gávea Pequena, a residência oficial, em São Conrado, e pelo Centro Administrativo, na Cidade Nova, conseguiu localizar Maia no Palácio da Cidade, em Botafogo. Ali, conforme dito pelo próprio prefeito, por e-mail, teve encontros com vereadores e alguns dos novos secretários do município. Depois, almoçou com a cúpula do Comando Militar do Leste (CML).

JB reporters went to three of the mayor’s official addresses yesterday to try to find out what his official agenda for the day was. It turned out to be sitting around in his office doing interviews by e-mail. After going to his official residence in São Conrado and his office in Cidade Nova, we found the mayor  at City Hall, in Botafogo. There, according to the mayor himself, by e-mail, he met with city lawmakers and some of his municipal cabinet officers. Later, he lunched with the leadership of the Eastern Military Command.

Também por correio eletrônico, Maia não quis dar detalhes sobre o encontro com os militares, que desde segunda-feira, mantêm hospitais de campanha para atender às vítimas da doença. Mas considera, mais uma vez, que a cidade não vive uma epidemia de dengue. Como tem declarado, diz que ocorreu um “surto epidêmico em Jacarepaguá, não na cidade toda”. Além de “surtos no entorno de Manguinhos e de Senador Camará e incidências mais e menos significativas na cidade”.

Again via e-mail, Maia refused to give details of his meeting with the military men, who since Monday have been mounting field hospitals to treat dengue victims. But he said, once again, that he does not believe the city is suffering a dengue epidemic. As he has said before, he said “there is an outbreak in Jacarepaguá, not in the city as a whole.” Along with “outbreaks in the Manguinhos area and in Senador Camará and more or less significant numbers of cases in the city.”

Maia is a disciple of Dick Morris, whom he sometimes quotes in the “ex-blog.” Can you tell?

Maia também declara que vem realizando visitas aos hospitais da cidade, mas com agenda fechada, sem divulgação à imprensa. “Se se fala de epidemia na cidade toda, perde-se a prioridade de concentrar serviços nas áreas que precisam mais”, completa, por e-mail.

Maia also says he has been visiting city hospitals, but without announcing them beforehand to the press. “If we speak of a citywide epidemic, the focus on areas that need the most attention gets lost,” he concluded, via e-mail.

Rio tem quase 35 mil casos

Some 35,000 cases in Rio

Do mundo virtual do prefeito para a realidade da dengue nos hospitais, a cidade atingiu a marca de 34.284 vítimas da doença, com mais de 1.500 novos casos registrados ontem. Em três unidades de saúde da rede municipal – os Hospitais Lourenço Jorge, na Barra da Tijuca, Miguel Couto, no Leblon, e Souza Aguiar, no Centro – visitados pelo JB, à rotina de espera pelo atendimento se juntava a indignação com a atitude de Cesar Maia.

Moving now from the mayor’s virtual world and the reality of dengue in the hospitals, the city has seen 32,284 victims of the disease, with more than 1,500 new cases registered yesterday. In three city hospitals — in the Barra, Leblon and downtown — visited by this paper, the wait for treatment was mixed with indignation against Maia’s attitude.

Eu só posso pensar que o Cesar Maia está sendo, no mínimo, negligente. E basta olhar para as filas nos hospitais do Rio – resume a estudante Jéssica Rosa de Souza, 19, à espera de atendimento no Souza Aguiar, que já durava duas horas.

“I can only conclude that Maia is being, at a minimum, negligent. All you need do is look at the lines at Rio hospitals,” says a 19-year-old student waiting to be seen at Souza Aguiar Hospital, where she had already waited for two hours.

A indignação não estava estampada apenas nos rostos de quem tinha esperança de ser atendido. Entre funcionários dos hospitais, a revolta era a mesma.

Indignation was visible, not only on the faces of those waiting for treatment, but on the faces of hospital workers as well.

Não tenho palavras para falar sobre a postura do prefeito. Diante disso que vemos, é melhor ficar calada – desabafa uma enfermeira, há 25 anos na rede municipal de saúde. – Não é só a população que sofre. Nós, que trabalhamos nos hospitais, também somos vítimas, pois não temos estrutura.

“I have no words to describe the mayor’s posture. Given what we are witnessing, it is best not to say anything,” says a nurse who has worked in the city health network for 25 years. “It is not just the population that suffers. We who work in the hospitals are also victims, because we lack infrastructure.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s