Brazil COVID-19 inquiry focuses on chloroquine
Brazil's former health minister told a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing government knew full well that the treatment they were advocating for COVID-19 patients had no scientific basis.
Bryan Wood reports.
Brazilian lawmakers began an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 health crisis on Tuesday narrowing in on his support of the anti-malaria drug, chloroquine.
The investigation has pulled up former health ministers to testify against Bolsonaro for wanting to approve the drug as a treatment for COVID-19, even when his top health officials said there wasn’t enough evidence.
Bolsonaro fired former Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, last April for not agreeing to push a chloroquine-based treatment.
On Tuesday, Mandetta spoke in front of the Senate investigation.
“I warned Bolsonaro systematically of the consequences of not adopting the recommendations of science to fight COVID-19.” Now, Brazil is facing a steady surge in cases.
Its vaccination supply is running low as major cities struggle to administer second doses.
Hospitals across the country are overrun and out of oxygen.
Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world.
The Senate investigation is expected to hurt the president’s approval ratings, also showing he’s remained opposed to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.