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On November 30, 2021, Brazil detected the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Latin America. Two months later, it has spread all over the region, once again overwhelming hospitals and threatening the region’s economic recovery. Before Omicron, Latin America was being celebrated as a global vaccine leader. Now, infections are accelerating from Argentina and Brazil to Honduras and Haiti.

Just as earlier in the pandemic, the latest wave is also disrupting government operations, sidelining senior officials after coronavirus diagnoses or when a close contact tests positive. Presidents, ministers and lawmakers are in and out of isolation, and some have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications. The result: postponed congressional votes, cancelled presidential meetings and leaders leading from their residences.

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About the Author

Facundo Pibida

Facundo Pibida

Intern Spring 2022
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more