Brazil's Senate Panel Votes Pres. Jair Bolsonaro Guilty of Mass Murder for His COVID Response
Brazil's Senate panel has concluded that President Jair Bolsonaro is guilty of both genocide and old mass murder due to his administration's COVID response.
Legislators noted in a draft report that Bolsonaro deliberately let the COVID pandemic impact the Brazilian population, which had killed hundreds of thousands as a plan to achieve "herd immunity," according to a Gizmodo report.
Herd immunity is when many people have been infected by a pathogen that struggles to find new hosts who haven't already fought it off. However, through the pandemic, many advocated that the way to get there was to sit and let the virus take control.
The said Senate report strongly suggests Brazilian authorities lock up Bolsonaro and 69 other administration officials.
Brazil's Senate Panel Report
A draft report from a senate inquiry into Brazil's COVID response has recommended that Bolsonaro should face murder charges for the COVID death toll in the country. The draft report had painted a portrait of neglect, incompetence, and anti-scientific denialism, according to The Guardian report.
The report also noted Bolsonaro's "deliberate and conscious" decision to delay buying COVID vaccines, which had led thousands of citizens to early graves. The document says that the calculation of the situation was clear, showing the more infections, the more death.
The Senate panel's report accuses Bolsonaro of a total of 11 crimes, including crimes against humanity, incitement to crime, and charlatanism for his promotion of ineffective remedies such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
The most notable allegation is that Bolsonaro's shunning of offers from vaccine manufacturers during the first year of the pandemic in Brazil, amounting to murder.
The draft report said that the decision not to acquire vaccines between July 2020 and at least January 2021 ended up claiming the lives of thousands of Brazilians, who would have made use of such vaccines.
Renan Calheiros, the centrist Brazilian senator who was the lead author of the report, said that many of the deaths were preventable, according to The New York Times report. Calheiros added that he is personally convinced that Bolsonaro is responsible for escalating the slaughter.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro's office did not comment on the matter. However, he criticized the Senate's investigation into his COVID response. Bolsonaro said that the investigation was politically motivated.
He asked his supporters after the first details leaked out if they did know he was indicted for homicide today.
The Brazilian president called Calheiros "dirty."
One lawmaker had worn a bulletproof vest to testify that some vaccine purchases had included kickbacks.
Bolsonaro's administration has caused a delay in the distribution of vaccines in Brazil by ignoring more than 100 emails from Pfizer.
Brazil, instead, has opted to overpay an unapproved vaccine from India, according to the Senate report. However, the Indian vaccine deal was later canceled over suspicions of graft.
Pfizer has also been accused of holding Brazil "to ransom" over demands to shield itself from possible vaccine side-effect lawsuits in its supply contract, with 100 million COVID vaccine doses, according to another The Guardian report.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Brazil Senate investigating Bolsonaro's handling of COVID-19 - from Al Jazeera English
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