For the best part of the pandemic, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for his reluctance to purchase coronavirus vaccines. He bad-mouthed immunizers from China, he spoke ill of the Pfizer vaccine, and took months to secure any deals to get jabs in Brazilians’ arms.
But now, in an ironic twist, the government is facing its most severe crisis not over the vaccines it did not pursue, but over the ones it did.
Members of the government are suspected of having conditioned immunizer purchases to hefty bribes.
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- Euan Marshall is an editor at The Brazilian Report and also hosts the Explaining Brazil podcast in the absence of Gustavo Ribeiro.
- The president dismissed graft allegations related to the Covaxin deal as his House whip’s monkey business, according to whistleblowers.
- What is the criticism around Indian-made vaccine Covaxin, the immunizer at the center of the government’s latest crisis?
- Government’s plan for herd immunity “destroyed” Brazil, the chairman of the Senate’s Covid hearings committee told Brasília correspondent Janaína Camelo. After showing how the government stalled vaccine deals, the committee now seeks evidence that officials benefited financially from pushing ineffective Covid treatments.
- A group of senators submitted a request to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for misconduct — as he allegedly failed to act when informed about irregularities involving the USD 300 million deal to purchase Covaxin vaccines.
- As Brazil reached 500,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, hundreds of cities held protests against Jair Bolsonaro. Demonstrators say the dangers of keeping him in office outweigh those of exposing themselves to the virus. But the fact that these demonstrations are being organized by left-leaning groups is alienating the right and preventing them from actually threatening the government in a more meaningful way.
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