“Are our lives worth less than a dollar?” “, asks the sign. “It is no longer a question of the left or the right, it is a question of respect for human life”, launches Nadia, in her fifties, who came to parade, Saturday July 3, with her 20-year-old daughter in Rio de Janeiro. She refers to accusations of bribes over the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines that splashed the government at the end of June, as Brazil surpassed the threshold of 520,000 victims of the health crisis.
Several tens of thousands of protesters marched the same day through major cities across the country against President Jair Bolsonaro and his handling of the pandemic. This is the third national demonstration since the end of May, and the image of the Head of State, who presented himself as the champion of anti-corruption, has never been so weakened. According to an Exame-Ideia poll, 59% of his compatriots believe his government is bad.
After the Senate Committee of Inquiry (CPI), which has been hearing for two months on how the government handled the health crisis, and after the filing, Wednesday, June 30, of a “super impeachment request” before the House MPs, Jair Bolsonaro is now the subject of a preliminary investigation; he is suspected of having failed to report an attempted corruption in the purchase of vaccines.
The head of state is accused of “Prevarication”, or breach of his duties. “He committed this crime by failing to warn the federal police, that’s a fact”, said ICC President Senator Omar Aziz of the Social Democratic Party (PSD, center) in an interview with the newspaper Or Balloon. The latter added that Jair Bolsonaro “Must have a hives attack when we show that his government is so corrupt.” And we have strong indications in this direction ”.
« Out of Bolsonaro! »
The recent revelations add to a series of scandals surrounding the attitude of the Bolsonaro government towards the purchase of vaccines. The hiccups in the negotiations, in particular with Pfizer and Sinovac (CoronaVac vaccine), delayed the Brazilian vaccination campaign by several weeks.
“Being contaminated is more effective than the vaccine”, repeated recently the coronasceptic president, long hostile to vaccination. In early July, despite an acceleration in vaccination, only 16% of the population (27 million Brazilians) had received two doses.
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