17 August 2022,   17:08
Charge Bolsonaro with murder over COVID toll, draft Brazil senate report says

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, should face murder charges for his role in the country’s “stratospheric” coronavirus death toll, a draft report from a senate inquiry into Brazil’s Covid crisis has recommended, writes The Guardian.

The 1,078-page document, published by Brazilian media, is not due to be voted on by the commission until next week and could yet be modified by senators.

But the draft text paints a devastating portrait of the neglect, incompetence and anti-scientific denialism many believe has defined the Bolsonaro administration’s response to a public health emergency that has killed more than 600,000 Brazilians.

Bolsonaro’s “deliberate and conscious” decision to delay buying COVID vaccines needlessly condemned thousands of citizens to early graves, the report claims.

“The mathematics of the situation was clear: the more infections, the more death. Without vaccines mortality would have been stratospheric, as it turned out to be”, - the document says, before concluding: “We will never forget”.

The report is the politically explosive fruit of a six-month congressional investigation into the South American country’s COVID outbreak, which began in February 2020 and is only now being controlled thanks to the efforts of Brazil’s internationally admired public health service.

In recent weeks top Bolsonaro officials and allies, including past and serving health ministers, have been hauled before televised hearings, amid mounting public anger over the federal government’s behaviour.