Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Presidential Palace in Brasília, Brazil, in September. Photo: Andre Borges/picture alliance via Getty Images

Brazil became on Wednesday the third country to surpass 5 million coronavirus cases, as the virus death toll in the nation neared 150,000.

By the numbers: Brazil has the third-highest number of cases after India (almost 6.8 million) and the U.S. (over 7.5 million), per Johns Hopkins.

  • It has the second-highest death toll from COVID-19 (over 148,200) after the U.S. (nearly 211,800).

The big picture: President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the virus and opposed lockdowns.

  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro epidemiologist Roberto Medronho told Reuters, "We are seeing the authorities easing social distancing more and more despite the number of cases."

Go deeper

The pandemic is getting worse again

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.

How the coronavirus pandemic could end

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's still the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but history, biology and the knowledge gained from our first nine months with COVID-19 point to how the pandemic might end.

The big picture: Pandemics don't last forever. But when they end, it usually isn't because a virus disappears or is eliminated. Instead, they can settle into a population, becoming a constant background presence that occasionally flares up in local outbreaks.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.