15 Jan

Health system collapse in Manaus mobilizes artists and influencers and isolates support for the government on networks

Updated 11 de February, 2021 at 3:48 pm

  • A mobilization of artists and influencers gave visibility to the health crisis in Manaus and raised funds;
  • Among supporters and critics of the government, the discussion focused on the competence of the federal and state governments;
  • The map of interactions shows an isolated right-wing group with 7% of the profiles, and opposition groups converging in their criticism of the government.

The oxygen supply crisis that has been plaguing Manaus (AM) in the context of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, which has registered the highest number of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic, generated more than 1.18 million tweets from midday on January 14th to midday on January 15th, according to a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP).

Evolution of mentions to the health crisis in Manaus on Twitter
Period: from January 14 at midday until January 15 at midday

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Stories told by health professionals empowered by the involvement of artists and influencers and motivated the peak of mentions that started on the afternoon of the 14th. Celebrities quickly started fundraising campaigns to purchase oxygen tanks and equipment for health facilities in the capital. The influencer Whindersson Nunes generated a large mobilization with significant levels of engagement and reach. Campaigns were also launched through hashtags, reflecting the concern of users about the health crisis faced by Manaus. Of the five most frequent hashtags in the period, at least three drew attention to the situation in the capital of Amazonas: #Oxigenioparamanaus (oxygen for Manaus), which appeared in 36,400 posts (or 3.3% of the debate); #sosmanaus, in 32,300 posts (3%); #manauspedesocorro (Manaus cries for help), in 15.7 thousand posts (1.5%).

Map of interactions about the health crisis in Manaus on Twitter
Period: from January 14 at midday until January 15 at midday

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Red – 36.5% of profiles | 41.0% of interactions
Formed around profiles of politicians aligned with the left wing and some influencers, this group was the most engaged in the debate and warned about the gravity of the situation in Manaus, demanding urgent measures from the federal government. Posts also highlighted the help offered by Venezuela – and the fact that the country has been criticized by some Brazilians – as well as the mobilization of artists to provide aid to the city. The decision by government officials to suspend social distancing in the capital of Amazonas at the end of last year was also criticized by the group.

Yellow – 25.6% of profiles | 24.1% of interactions
Group that includes profiles of a few celebrities and many common users, who shared details about specific situations reflecting the health crisis in Manaus, such as the desperate search for oxygen tanks and other hospital supplies by citizens and institutions.

Orange – 11.6% of profiles | 9.6% of interactions
This group is composed of several celebrities, artists and influencers and focused on promoting the campaign launched by the influencer @whindersson, who called on the artistic class to mobilize for the purchase and shipment of oxygen tanks to Manaus.

Blue – 7.1% of profiles | 7.5% of interactions
Mobilized by profiles of conservative politicians, bloggers and influencers responding to criticism of the federal government, this group insisted on the narrative of blaming the administration of the Amazonas governor for the crisis faced by the capital.

Pink – 5.5% of profiles | 9.3% of interactions
This group contained common profiles expressing concern and astonishment about the situation in the capital of Amazonas, striving to mobilize the campaign “oxygen for Manaus”, which called attention to the lack of oxygen tanks in the municipal hospitals and reached about 265,900 posts in the analyzed period.

Green – 3.7% of profiles | 2.6% of interactions
With less participation in the debate, this group was moved by the initiative encouraged by the influencer @whindersson and criticized politicians and government officials for an alleged omission in planning and, now, in facing the crisis.

Based on the performance of the profiles, we found that the demands for responses by the authorities appeared on both sides of the ideological segments. However, while the pro-government group continued to blame the state governor Wilson Lima (PSC), opposition profiles indicated the federal government’s responsibilities to articulate and coordinate intergovernmental actions. The disputes and controversies among the actors that compose the different levels of government permeated the entire public debate throughout the pandemic. However, in order to fight the calamity, the federal government must be at the forefront of developing, coordinating and implementing a national health policy, and in charge of ensuring that this policy reaches everyone, given its competences and abilities to provide instruments and resources.