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Senate accuses Jair Bolsonaro for mishandling the pandemic in Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
The Brazilian Senate accuses Jair Bolsonaro for mishandling the pandemic in Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

Bolsonaro requested to be tried for crimes against humanity

Things are getting more complicated for the president of Brazil for his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, could be tried for crimes against humanity and nine other crimes, for his "macabre strategy" in the face of the pandemic that has caused the death of at least 606,000 people as of Oct. 27, 2021. 

The Brazilian Senate approved the report made by a commission made up of legislators that investigated Bolsonaro and other members of the federal government over the last six months, "if non-drug measures had been systematically applied, COVID-19 transmission levels could have been reduced by approximately 40%, which means that 120,000 lives could have been saved by the end of March 2021.″

Bolsonaro and 80 other officials, including the president's children, one of four health ministers in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, and other ministers and former ministers, are among those charged. 

Among the evidence gathered by the commission is the deliberate rejection of vaccines, which delayed immunization campaigns, as well as an apparent case of corruption during the purchase of vaccines. It was also revealed that a network of private hospitals forced staff to prescribe a so-called COVID kit, which contained drugs of unproven efficacy against COVID-19, such as chloroquine and ivermectin. 

During the pandemic, Brazil was one of the countries that did not implement social restrictions, nor did it make masks mandatory, even as the number of infections and deaths increased at an accelerated rate. In addition, it experienced many tragic moments, such as the death of patients due to lack of oxygen in the region of Manaus at the beginning of 2021, and an irregular clinical trial that ended with the death of 200 people. 

The South American Trump

The similarities in the handling the pandemic between Bolsonaro and former U.S. President Donald Trump are many. 

Bolsonaro, like Trump, has promoted unconventional treatments without scientific evidence against COVID-19, and it was also common to see him at public events without a mask. During the hardest stages of the pandemic, he encouraged workers to go out to work before isolation to avoid contagion.

Bolsonaro has also claimed the pandemic is part of a conspiracy and has openly stated he has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Despite the evident mishandling of the pandemic and his fall in popularity thanks to six months of investigation and continued high numbers of COVID infections, Bolsonaro will hardly be tried and impeached, as the final decision in the case is made by the attorney general, who is his personal friend.

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