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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Brazil Senate launches Bolsonaro COVID-19 probe

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Brazil Senate launches Bolsonaro COVID-19 probe
Brazil Senate launches Bolsonaro COVID-19 probe

Brazil's Senate on Tuesday launched an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro's official response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan Wood reports.

Brazil's Senate on Tuesday launched a probe into President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The congressional investigation could result in legal consequences, but, for now, is a major political headache for Bolsonaro, who faces record disapproval amid Brazil’s worst coronavirus wave.

Senate leader Rodrigo Pacheco said on Tuesday that an inquiry would focus on the federal pandemic response, as well as how federal resources were distributed to states.

Right now, Brazil’s medical system is pushed to the limit in many parts of the country.

Experts believe it may be in part due to the so-called P1 variant, which appears particularly infectious and deadly.

Over 3,800 Brazilians died of COVID-19 on Tuesday alone, according to official health data and one study over the weekend showed over half of patients in intensive care units are under 40 years old.

Bolsonaro has drawn widespread criticism for downplaying the virus, which he's described as a “little flu.” He’s ignored health experts who say masks are a must and has railed against lockdown measures.

Bolsonaro has blasted lawmakers for attempting to investigate him, but a Supreme Court judge ruled last week that there was enough support in the Senate to launch the official probe.


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