RIO DE JANEIRO — The coronavirus patient was demanding his hydrochloroquine.
For months, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had been touting the antimalarial drug as a miracle cure for covid-19, despite serious scientific misgivings over its efficacy and side effects. Now his supporters were asking their doctors for it.
For Larissa Bragança Itaborahy, it was one more reminder that she wasn’t up against just one infectious disease but two: the coronavirus and misinformation.
“A two-front war,” she said.
It’s one reason the 33-year-old physician is participating in clinical trials for an experimental vaccine by the Chinese manufacturer Sinovac. It might be a chance to inoculate herself against a disease that terrified her. But it was also an opening to align herself with evidence and logic — rather than the doubts and medical falsehoods she saw proliferating across Brazil.