Covid in Brazil: Former Minister of Health blames Bolsonaro

BRAZIL | The former Brazilian health minister gave assurances on Tuesday before a parliamentary commission of inquiry that he had “directly” warned President Jair Bolsonaro of the “extremely serious consequences” of his denial in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed about 410,000 people in the country. …

“We urged the president to change his stance, warning that this could saturate the health system,” said Luis Enrique Mandetta, a 56-year-old orthopedic surgeon, before a Senate commission of inquiry, which should establish the government’s responsibility for the Bolsonaro crisis. health care.

Mr Mandetta was fired at the end of March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, because he defended physical distancing in an attempt to stop infection, an idea completely rejected by the head of state.

“Brazil could have done better. We could start vaccinations in November, ”insisted the former minister, who is expected to become a future presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, during which Jair Bolsonaro is to run for a second term.

The far-right leader has repeatedly criticized vaccines, being ironic about the side effects that could “turn Brazilians into crocodiles.” The government is also accused of rejecting several lab proposals, including 70 million doses proposed by Pfizer as of August 2020.

Vaccinations in Brazil are currently slowing due to lack of doses, and the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine took place just last week, and the order contract was only signed in March.


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