Bolsonaro was 'warned' about the consequences of ignoring science, inquiry hears
May 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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BRASILIA, BRAZIL - MARCH 18: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta ,using protective masks, during a press conference about government plans and measures about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in Brazil, at the Planalto Palace on March 18, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Andre Coelho/Getty Images)
For months, critics of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have been calling for an investigation into his handling of the country's devastating Covid-19 crisis. On Tuesday, it finally began.
The parliamentary inquiry into the Brazilian government's Covid-19 response kicked off with hours of testimony from former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta -- one of several who have passed through the crucial role during the pandemic.
In the early days of the pandemic, Bolsonaro's administration was reluctant to launch an official information campaign about Covid-19, which prompted Mandetta to begin daily press conferences, Mandetta told the parliamentary commission (CPI).
"I warned Bolsonaro systematically of the consequences of not adopting the recommendations of science," Mandetta said, presenting CPI with a letter from March 28, 2020 in which he warns Bolsonaro about the growing risks of the coronavirus and "expressly recommends" the president to follow health ministry recommendations.
Mandetta, who as Health Minister disputed Bolsonaro's endorsement of unproven drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatments, also said the government knew early on that those drugs had no scientific backing.
Bolsonaro has not publicly commented on Mandetta's testimony to the CPI.