May 21, 2024

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Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of falsifying coronavirus vaccination data

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of falsifying coronavirus vaccination data

Adriano Machado – Reuters

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in front of his home before testifying before federal police in Brasilia, Brazil, on February 22, 2024.



CNN

The country's federal police have indicted former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on suspicion of fraud over allegations that he falsified coronavirus vaccination data while he was still president, its CNN Brasil affiliate reported Tuesday.

Police say the far-right leader ordered one of his closest aides to enter false vaccination data into the Health Ministry's system for himself and his daughter, according to CNN Brasil.

Police said, according to CNN Brasil, that “evidence collected” for the investigation shows that Bolsonaro acted willingly when he ordered the false data to be added to the country's health system.

Bolsonaro's closest aide, Lt. Col. Mauro Cid, and 15 others have also been charged for alleged participation in the same scheme.

Bolsonaro's lawyer, Fabio Wajngarten, called the indictment “ridiculous.”

He wrote on the X website: “The whole world knows (Bolsonaro’s) personal opinion on the subject of vaccination. “While serving as president, he was completely exempt from presenting any kind of testimony on his travels.”

Last May, Brazilian police carried out a search and seizure operation at Bolsonaro's home in Brasilia in connection with suspected fraudulent vaccination data.

Bolsonaro then told reporters that he had not been vaccinated against Covid-19, and that his vaccination card had not been tampered with.

The Brazilian Attorney General's Office will now have to decide whether to move forward with an indictment.

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized at home and abroad for downplaying the severity of the virus during the pandemic, including discouraging people from getting vaccinated, even though Brazil is battling a severe coronavirus outbreak.

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In 2021, he publicly violated a UN requirement that foreign delegations be vaccinated before entering its headquarters in New York. several Members of his delegation He later tested positive for the virus.

The indictment comes as Bolsonaro faces mounting legal challenges, including an investigation into an alleged coup attempt to keep him in power after he lost the 2022 presidential election. Several former ministers who served in Bolsonaro's government are also being investigated, and some of his aides have been arrested.

After Bolsonaro narrowly lost the election to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his supporters rioted and stormed government buildings in Brasilia on January 8, 2023. Bolsonaro has denied this. incitement the Violent attacks in the capital.

Last year, Bolsonaro was banned from running for political office until 2030 by the country's highest electoral court. Exploiting his power and misuse of public media during the 2022 election campaign.