The presidents of Mexico and Brazil scored stunning election victories in 2018 in defiance of the political establishment, but now their unwillingness to follow consensus on the coronavirus pandemic has left the two increasingly exposed.

Mexican leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have swum against the tide of scientific opinion — talking down the risks, delegating responsibility and flouting advice given to the public.

Opinion polls suggest their apparent nonchalance concerns voters, but that has not stopped them falling out of step with many other world leaders — including U.S. President Donald Trump, who has also been accused of underestimating the threat.