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Brazil's Bolsonaro approval rating stays at highest level during pandemic

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (C) looks on during a ceremony of Aviator's Day at Brasilia Air Base in Brasilia, Brazil October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating remains at its highest level since he took office in 2019, despite the country experiencing the world’s second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak, a poll showed on Sunday.

The Datafolha poll found that 37% of those surveyed viewed Bolsonaro’s government as great or good, unchanged from August, while 32% saw it as bad or terrible, down 2 points.

COVID-19 has caused more than 180,000 deaths in Brazil, second only to the United States.

In September, Bolsonaro extended until the end of the year payments for low-income Brazilians hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic, a program that has boosted his popularity but created tension with his finance team.

The monthly stipend begun in April was reduced by half to 300 reais ($59) in September and is paid to poor and informal-sector workers who have seen their earnings battered by the crisis.

The survey, conducted with 2,016 people from Dec. 8 to 10, had a 2-percentage-point margin of error.

($1 = 5.0656 reais)

Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Peter Cooney

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