Jair Bolsonaro

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
The Brazilian Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, tested positive for Covid-19
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello Credit: Erasmo Salomão/MS (Public Domain)

The Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Pazuello becomes the 12th member of Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet to be infected with the new coronavirus.

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Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

"We won't buy the vaccine from China," says Bolsonaro on his Facebook page on Tuesday after the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac.

The same day, earlier, the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmacist Sinovac. The company has an agreement with the government of São Paulo to supply the ready vaccine and also to transfer the production technology to the Butantan Institute (see details below).

"Everything will be clarified even today. We will not buy the vaccine from China", said the president.

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Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with cash hidden between the buttocks
Chico Rodrigues
Chico Rodrigues Credit: Agência Senado (Public Domain)

Chico Rodrigues, Jair Bolsonaro's deputy leader in the senate, was caught by the Brazilian Federal Police with R$30,000 (€4,572) concealed between his clenched buttocks. The police raid Wednesday was part of an operation against the misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

Rodrigues, a Senator for the state of Roraima, released a statement claiming "I have a clean background and a respectable life. I’ve never been involved in any kind of scandal."

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Jair Bolsonaro rejects Biden's offer of $20 billion to protect the rainforest
Jair Bolsonaro rejects Biden's offer of $20 billion to protect the rainforest

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected a $20 billion offer made by Joe Biden, during the US presidential debate Tuesday, about stopping deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Bolsonaro stated that the government is already taking "unprecedented actions" to protect the forest.

The Brazilian president wrote on Twitter that "The greed of some countries about the Amazon is a reality. However, the externalization by someone who disputes the command of his country clearly signals giving up a cordial and fruitful coexistence.”

Bolsonaro's right-wing government has been widely criticized for its approach to environmental regulations and its handling of destructive fires in the rainforest.

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Jair Bolsonaro leaves hospital after bladder stone surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro left the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo after a surgery to remove a bladder stone. The surgery was scheduled for Friday morning.

During an interview to CNN, Bolsonaro said: "Why did I operate on a Friday? Not to lose 2 or 3 working days. I have a lot of work. That's why I thought it was better to have the surgery over the weekend."

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Report points to a serious risk to academic freedom in Brazil
Universidade de São Paulo
Universidade de São Paulo Credit: Rafael Vianna Croffi (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A report released by the Global Public Policy Institute(GPPi) highlights offensives on several fronts against Brazilian professors, researchers and institutions. The academic freedom to research and teaching, in an environment with didactic and scientific autonomy in public universities, is guaranteed by the Brazilian Constitution but is under threat in the country.

According to the document, the corrosion of academic freedom began to accelerate in the last electoral campaign, with the then-candidate Jair Bolsonaro disseminating aggressive rhetoric against universities, which according to the current president would be the focus of "leftist indoctrination".

The report states that "Top-down measures from the Brazilian government, administered through legal, institutional channels and combined with constant discursive attacks, have created an increasingly hostile environment for academics, who constitute a significant opposition group to the federal government."

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International Criminal Court rejects action against Jair Bolsonaro
International Criminal Court, The Hague
International Criminal Court, The Hague Credit: OSeveno (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, rejected the complaint filed in early April by the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABJD) against the President Jair Bolsonaro for a crime against humanity committed during his government's conduct in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prosecutor Mark P. Dillon, head of the ICC's Information and Evidence Unit, stated that "the conduct described does not appear to fall within the strict definitions of the Rome Statute".

Dillon also said, "The information submitted will be kept in our files, and the decision not to proceed (the investigations) may be reconsidered if new facts or evidence provide a reasonable (evidence) basis for believing that a crime under the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed."

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Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Credit: Alan Santos/PR (Public Domain)

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Sunday to a journalist that his "wish is to punch you in the mouth".

Bolsonaro stated after being questioned by the "O Globo" newspaper reporter about money transferred by an ally to the First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

The money transfers, by Flávio Bolsonaro's former adviser Fabrício Queiroz, to Michelle Bolsonaro were made from 2011 and 2016 and totalled R$72,000. Queiroz's wife transfered another R$17,000 to the first lady in 2011.

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Brazilian government lifts four-month ban on foreign air travel
Temperature screening at São Paulo International Airport
Temperature screening at São Paulo International Airport Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Despite still having a daily average of more than 1,000 deaths by Covid-19, the Brazilian government decided to reopen its borders to foreign visitors arriving by plane. Jair Bolsonaro signed, this Wednesday, an ordinance revoking the ban that was in place since the end of March.

The ordinance states, "The foreign passenger on a visit to the country for a short stay, of up to ninety days, must present to the transport company, before boarding, proof of purchase of health insurance valid in Brazil and with coverage for the entire period of the trip, under penalty of being prevented from entering national territory by the migratory authority due to provocation by the health authority ".

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Brazilian first-lady Michelle Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19
Michelle Bolsonaro
Michelle Bolsonaro Credit: Alan Santos/PR (Public Domain)

Brazil's first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, tested positive for Covid-19, the Brazilian Government announced Thursday.

In a statement, the Presidency also said that Michelle's health is good and that she will follow "all established protocols" for treating the disease.

The first lady's test came back positive days after President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he had been cured of the disease.

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Jair Bolsonaro is denounced in The Hague for genocide and crimes against humanity
Jair Bolsonaro, promoting hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment
Jair Bolsonaro, promoting hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was denounced Sunday for crimes against humanity and genocide at the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague. The initiative is led by UNISaúde, a coalition of entities representing more than one million health workers in Brazil.

UNISaúde accuses the Brazilian president of "serious and deadly failures" in conducting the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. "In the understanding of the coalition, there are indications that Bolsonaro committed a crime against humanity during his administration in the face of the pandemic, by adopting negligent and irresponsible actions, which contributed to the more than 80 thousand deaths in the country"

According to Marcio Monzane, regional secretary UNI Americas: "The Bolsonaro government should be blamed for its insensitive action in the face of the pandemic and for refusing to protect Brazilian health workers as well as the Brazilian population, which he promised to defend when he became president,"

Health
Brazilian study shows that hydroxychloroquine has no effect against Covid-19
Brazilian study shows that hydroxychloroquine has no effect against Covid-19
Credit: Marcelo Casal/Agencia Brasil

A new study concluded that among patients hospitalised with mild-to-moderate Covid-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care. The study was conducted by Brazilian researchers and published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

President Jair Bolsonaro advocates the drug as a form of treatment for Covid-19.

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Brazil: Slash-and-burn will be paused in the rainforest
Brigadistas of Prevfogo / Ibama participate in joint operation to fight fires in the Amazon
Brigadistas of Prevfogo / Ibama participate in joint operation to fight fires in the Amazon Credit: Ibama from Brasil / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

By decree, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles have banned the slash-and-burn practice in the Amazon rainforest for 4 months.

A study published by the US science journal "Science" shows that about a fifth of Brazil's annual soy and beef exports to the European Union come from illegally cleared areas. Around 500,000 tons of soy from illegal deforestation in Brazil was exported into the European Union between 2009 and 2017. Bolsonaro is repeatedly criticized for its environmental policy by economy and environmentalists. At the moment, investors distancing themselves from his environmental policy and are calling on the government to take concrete steps against the destruction of the rainforest.

60 per cent of the world's tropical rainforest is located in Brazil. This year 25 per cent more forest was destroyed than in the same period in 2019.

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Bolsonaro watered-down law that protects indigenous people against Covid-19
Bolsonaro watered-down law that protects indigenous people against Covid-19

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro published, with vetoes, on Wednesday a new law aimed at protecting indigenous communities against Covid-19.

Among the points were those assuring access to drinking water, free distribution of hygiene products like soap and toothpaste, cleaning and disinfection materials for indigenous communities and mandatory emergency funds for indigenous people’s health.

Bolsonaro also removed articles regarding the emergency provision of additional hospital beds and intensive care units to indigenous people, and the acquisition of ventilators and blood oxygenation machines were also turned down.

In a blog post, the Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), stated: "that indigenous leaders and organizations do not bend to government discourse and do not allow a government that is openly anti-indigenous to weaken and disunity the struggle that until now, indigenous peoples, with rare exceptions, have wisely managed to carry on."

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Facebook removes accounts linked to Bolsonaro's family
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts Credit: Facebook Reproduction

Facebook announced Wednesday the removal of 35 accounts, 14 Pages, 1 Group and 38 Instagram accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior in Brazil. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, Facebook investigation found links to individuals associated with the Social Liberal Party and some of the employees of the offices of Anderson Moraes, Alana Passos, Eduardo Bolsonaro, Flavio Bolsonaro and Jair Bolsonaro.

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Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19
Jair Bolsonaro (centre) pictured at the United States Independence celebration on July 4.
Jair Bolsonaro (centre) pictured at the United States Independence celebration on July 4. Credit: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19, after being tested on Monday with developing symptoms, including a high temperature.

In an interview earlier today, Bolsonaro said: "It started on Sunday, with a certain indisposition, it got worse on Monday, with tiredness, indisposition and a fever of 38 degrees. The president's doctor, pointing out the Covid-19 contamination, went to do a CT scan at the hospital. The medical team decided to give hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. As I wake up a lot during the night, after midnight I felt an improvement, at 5 am I took the second dose, and I'm feeling good "

On July 4yh, Bolsonaro attended a celebration at the United States Embassy in Brasilia with some of his close allies and was photographed not using a mask.

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Jair Bolsonaro sanctions law about mandatory mask usage in public. Shops, churches and schools are excluded.
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has sanctioned a law making mask usage mandatory in public spaces, but he has vetoed their use in schools, churches and shops. Bolsonaro also vetoed articles requiring the free distribution of masks to the population and a campaign to explain why masks should be used.

Marcelo Freixo, a representative from Rio de Janeiro, tweeted: "He cancelled the mandatory use of masks in schools, shops and temples. And it also removed the duty of the public power to provide it to the poorest. We will overturn this criminal decision in Congress!"

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Judge orders Jair Bolsonaro to wear a face mask in public
Jair Bolsonaro (without mask) in Brasilia, Brazil
Jair Bolsonaro (without mask) in Brasilia, Brazil Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been ordered by federal judge Renato Borelli to wear a face mask when circulating in public in Brasilia or face a $390 per day fine.

Borelli stated the president "has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion,".

The same decision also applies to all employees and contractors of the federal government in Brasilia.

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Brazil's Education Minister steps down
Abraham Weintraub, former Education Minister
Abraham Weintraub, former Education Minister Credit: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Brazilian Education Minister Abraham Weintraub on Thursday announced he was stepping down to take a role at the World Bank.

Weintraub, a fervent ideological defender of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, made his announcement in a short video posted to his Twitter page, reading from a prepared statement and then hugging the president.

In recent days Brazilian news sources speculated Weintraub was about to be fired, particularly after his comments about the Supreme Court. The court is currently overseeing a series of potentially explosive investigations involving Bolsonaro and his inner circle, and tension has soared between the president and its justices.

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Needing support in Congress, Bolsonaro restores Ministry of Communications
Fábio Faria
Fábio Faria Credit: Billy Boss/Câmara dos Deputados

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Wednesday on his Facebook account he has decided to recreate the Ministry of Communications, that had been closed in 2016. In this new configuration, the ministry will control the government’s €24 million advertising budget and the distribution of radio and tv broadcast licenses.

The head of the new ministry will be Fabio Faria of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) party and also a son-in-law of the owner of Brazil’s third-largest television network.

Bolsonaro has approached the PSD as part of a strategy to build sufficient support in Congress to block any of two dozen pending requests to impeach him.