Governors: Bolsonaro lies about Covid-19 money to states

Governors: Bolsonaro lies about Covid-19 money to states
Photo: Renato Alves/ABSB/GDF

A group of 16 state governors published an open letter claiming President Jair Bolsonaro is lying to Brazilians about the funding of the government’s coronavirus response.

Over the weekend, the president and members of his cabinet published data on money transfers to state governments to fund anti-pandemic efforts. The posts, made on social media, intended to disprove accusations that Mr. Bolsonaro’s government has failed to act to curb the coronavirus crisis.

However, state governors say that the amounts disclosed are not exclusively funds to help fight Covid-19, also including regular transfers they are entitled to receive by law and money spent with the coronavirus emergency aid program.

According to information obtained by website Poder 360, Mr. Bolsonaro said federal transfers amounted to BRL 847 billion (USD 152 billion) until January 15, 2021, of which BRL 293.8 billion were coronavirus-related funds. However, data from the Economy Ministry measures relief packages at just BRL 180 billion.

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