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A gravedigger walks among graves of COVID-19 victims in Brazil. Photo: Michael Dantas/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Thursday became only the second country to surpass 400,000 coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: The rising death toll and high number of cases has some health experts worried about a new wave of the pandemic, exacerbated by the country's slow vaccination campaign and loosening restrictions, AP reports.

  • The country has recorded more than 14.5 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

The big picture: Although the death toll has plateaued slightly recently, April was Brazil's deadliest month of the pandemic thus far, with at least 100,000 deaths.

  • Less than 6% of Brazilians have been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP.

Worth noting: The news comes just two days after the Brazilian Senate opened an investigation into the government's handling of the pandemic, a move that could bring political consequences for President Jair Bolsonaro.

What they're saying: For his part, Bolsonaro responded to the new death milestone on social media, saying he was "sorry for every death" while continuing to advocate against public health measures such as lockdowns, per AP.

  • "[I]f the lockdown policies continue this country will be dragged to extreme poverty," he said.

Go deeper: Brazil rejects Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, citing safety concerns

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 7, 2021 - Technology

COVID vaccines show the promise — and limits — of technofixes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are about as effective as a single technological solution to a major threat can be — and our struggles to adopt and distribute the shots demonstrate their limits.

Why it matters: The pandemic is just one of many global challenges we'll face in the years ahead, but technofixes alone can't save us without a supportive social and political structure.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.