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A field hospital for patients infected with COVID-19, Santo Andre, Brazil, in February. Photo: Jonne Roriz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil is facing "overload and even collapse of health systems" because of surging COVID-19 cases, a report by the state-run Fiocruz institute warned Tuesday, as the country set a new daily coronavirus death record.

Driving the news: The institute said over 80% of intensive care unit beds are occupied in 25 of Brazil's 26 state capitals. In Rio de Janeiro, 93% of ICU beds are occupied and Brasília has only 3% available. The cities of Campo Grande (106%) and Porto Alegre (102%) have exceeded capacity.

  • Brazil's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 1,972 more deaths from the coronavirus and 70,764 new cases.

For the record: The country has recorded the second-highest number of deaths (268,370) from the coronavirus after the U.S. (527,643), according to Johns Hopkins data.

  • It has reported the third-highest number of cases in the world — over 11.1 million since the pandemic began.

What they're saying: Fiocruz epidemiologist Jesem Orellana told AFP the "fight against COVID-19 was lost in 2020" and there's "not the slightest chance of reversing this tragic circumstance" in the first half of this year.

  • "The best we can do is hope for the miracle of mass vaccination or a radical change in the management of the pandemic," he added.
  • "Today, Brazil is a threat to humanity and an open-air laboratory where impunity in management seems to be the rule."

Of note: President Jair Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, said last week Brazilians should stop "whining" about the pandemic and leave home, despite stay-at-home orders imposed by local authorities, per Reuters.

Go deeper

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The Democrats' debt dilemma

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats find themselves in a political and potentially catastrophic economic quagmire as Republicans stand firm on denying them any help in raising the federal debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The Democrats are technically right — the debt comes, in part, from past spending by President Trump and his predecessors, not only President Biden's new big-ticket programs. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is saddling them with the public relations challenge of making that distinction during next year's crucial midterms.

Pelosi's endgame

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears at a news conference on Tuesday. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began her infrastructure endgame Tuesday, pressuring centrists to ultimately support as much social spending as possible while pleading with progressives to pass the roads-and-bridges package preceding it.

Why it matters: Neither group can achieve what it wants without the other, their ultimatums be damned. The leaders of both acknowledged the speaker's unique gift for pulling off a deal after separate conversations with Democratic leaders.