Jair Bolsonaro: Brazilian Senators Support Criminal Charges Against President For Managing Covid-19

Seven of the eleven senators on the committee voted in favor of the recommendations of a 1,288-page report on the crisis, which condemned the actions of the populist leader.

The document calls for indictments against two companies and 78 people, including Bolsonaro, for the pandemic’s huge toll on the country.

More than 605,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.

The report alleges that Bolsonaro’s government allowed the deadly virus to spread across the country in an unsuccessful attempt to gain collective immunity. It recommends that the president be personally charged with nine crimes, including incitement to crime, charlatanism and crimes against humanity.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly rejected the commission’s investigation and the resulting report as politically motivated.

A video of the commission hearing broadcast by TV Senado, a Brazilian channel, showed senators kissing in celebration after the results of the vote were announced.

The final document – the result of six months of investigation – will be sent to the Attorney General’s office, who will have 30 days to announce any measure. However, Attorney General Augusto Aras is seen as an ally of the president and should not lay charges.

The commission should also send a copy of the report to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“Reckless” movements

The Commission’s rapporteur, Senator Renan Calheiros, presented the report publicly for the first time last week.

One of the main conclusions of the document is that the Brazilian government, “failed and chose to act in a non-technical and reckless manner in the fight against the pandemic” … “deliberately exposing the population to a concrete risk of infection of mass “.

Brazil crosses 600,000 Covid-19 death milestone, just behind the United States

The report also criticizes the government’s discouragement of health measures, including going against scientific advice, including the use of social distancing and the use of masks, and denounces its push towards so-called ineffective treatments against Covid -19 such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

In scathing remarks on Tuesday, Calheiros said that while the report’s findings place the blame for the unchecked pandemic on many Brazilians, Bolsonaro bears primary responsibility.

“It is (the responsibility) mainly of this president, this serial killer, who has a death drive and keeps repeating everything he has done before,” Calheiros told reporters at a press conference. .

“It’s absurd what these guys did”

Bolsonaro has already dismissed the commission’s findings as biased and complained about the report on Monday in an interview with a local broadcaster in Mato Grosso do Sul.

“They call me a genocidal, a charlatan, a document forger and an exterminator. It is absurd what these guys did,” the president said, referring to lawmakers involved in the commission.

Bolsonaro has long played down the severity of the coronavirus, doubled its support for drugs with no proven efficacy against the disease and advocated the need to prioritize Brazil’s economic health. He tested positive for Covid-19 in 2020.

The committee’s findings could undermine Bolsonaro’s candidacy for re-election in the general election next October. As Brazil continues to fight the pandemic, the president’s approval ratings have plummeted.

A recent poll, released in mid-September by Brazil’s largest opinion poll group, Datafolha Institute, showed that 53% of Brazilians consider Bolsonaro’s presidency to be “bad or awful” – the highest disapproval rate. highest in this survey since taking office in 2019.

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