Power

Bolsonaro between a rock and a hard place over government whip

A series of grave accusations involving vaccine purchases by the federal government have come to light, all of which involve House whip Ricardo Barros. But axing him could have severe political consequences

bolsonaro Congressman Ricardo Barros, Bolsonaro's House whip, is suspected of corruption. Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR
Congressman Ricardo Barros, Bolsonaro’s House whip, is suspected of corruption. Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR

Even after a string of crises since taking office in January 2019, the Jair Bolsonaro government now appears to be in the throes of its most severe scandal to date. A series of revelations involving dodgy vaccine deals and corruption allegations have left the administration reeling, all surrounding one key figure of the government’s support base: House whip Ricardo Barros.

The congressman was first roped into the vaccine imbroglio on Friday, when his House colleague Luis Miranda told the Senate’s Covid inquiry about a meeting he held with President Bolsonaro to flag up inconsistencies concerning a Health Ministry...

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