A judge in the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered an investigation against Jair Bolsonaro. During broadcast on multiple social media platforms in October, the president said that COVID-19 vaccines could increase the likelihood of getting AIDS. Medical experts consistently emphasize that vaccination against the coronavirus prevents severe disease, including hospitalization and death.
Judge Alexandre de Moraes’s decision is a response to a motion by the Senate Inquiry Committee (CPI), which approved the indictment report in October Jair Bolsonaro to commit nine crimes related to his widely criticized handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including crimes against humanity.
According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, COVID-19 vaccines approved by health authorities are safe for most people, including those living with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome known as AIDS.
The CPI has already forwarded an approximately 1,300-page report to the Brazilian Attorney General’s (PGR) office in October, though few expect significant action given that the current national prosecutor has been appointed by Bolsonaro.
In practice, Moraes’s decision means that he will closely supervise the PGR investigation, because the Supreme Court does not conduct its own investigations.
In Brazil with more than 212 million inhabitants, more than 615,000 people have died due to COVID-19. The country has the second largest number of deaths in the world after the United States (population over 331 million), where more than 808,000 people have died infected with the coronavirus.
The Brazilian president, who may run for re-election next year, has long downplayed the dangers of the epidemic. He is accused by the opposition of “denialism”, which caused the humanitarian catastrophe of the epidemic and made it difficult to deal with.
He himself contracted the coronavirus in 2020. Due to not being vaccinated, he was no longer admitted to the stadium or to New York restaurantwhere he stayed at a session of the UN General Assembly. CNN notes that Bolsonaro is the only G20 leader to report that he has not been vaccinated.
A video of a far-right leader making the false claim that COVID-19 vaccines are linked to the development of AIDS has been removed from Facebook, among others and YouTube.
In July, the Alphabet holding company removed tapes from the Bolsonaro YouTube channel (owned by Alphabet) in which the Brazilian president recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, despite scientific evidence that these drugs are not effective in treating the disease.
Read on the fact-checking portal Konkret24: Ivermectin is the “miracle cure” for COVID-19? There is insufficient evidence
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Joedson Alves