Brazil has been severely hit by COVID-19, with rapid spatial spread of both cases and deaths . We use daily data on reported cases and deaths to understand, measure, and compare the spatiotemporal pattern of the spread across municipalities . Indicators of clustering, trajectories, speed, and intensity of the movement of COVID-19 to interior areas, combined with indices of policy measures show that while no single narrative explains the diversity in the spread, an overall failure of implementing prompt, coordinated, and equitable responses in a context of stark local inequalities fueled disease spread . This resulted in high and unequal infection and mortality burdens . With a current surge in cases and deaths and several variants of concern in circulation, failure to mitigate the spread could further aggravate the burden.