Former Health Ministry official dismisses vaccine whistleblowers

vaccine roberto dias
Roberto Dias. Photo: Marcos Oliveira/SF/CC-BY 4.0

Speaking before the Senate’s Covid hearings committee, the Health Ministry’s former logistics director Roberto Dias used his opening remarks to cast doubt over the legitimacy of those who have accused him of corruption involving coronavirus vaccine purchases

He called both Congressman Luis Miranda and alleged vaccine seller Luiz Paulo Dominguetti Pereira “unqualified.” Mr. Miranda claimed Mr. Dias put pressure on his brother, a senior Health Ministry official, to fast-track a contract to purchase 20 million doses of the Indian-made Covaxin vaccine — despite glaring irregularities. Mr. Pereira, meanwhile, said Mr. Dias demanded a USD 1 per dose bribe in a deal to buy 400 million AstraZeneca vaccines.

“I am the victim of attacks on my honor from two unqualified individuals. I’m being accused without evidence,” he said, in his defense. “This committee found that Mr. Pereira is a false vaccine seller trying to scam the Health Ministry.”

As we showed earlier this week, Mr. Pereira offered 400 million AstraZeneca vaccines to the government, but the company he claimed to represent has no association with the lab.

Mr. Dias claimed that Mr. Miranda holds a grudge against him after he denied his brother a promotion and pay raise. “The noble Congressman Luis Miranda has a checkered past. I had no participation in the choice of the company, the product, the quantities available, price definition, or contractual conditions. There was never any pressure from me.”