Brazil President Bolsonaro Says He Has Handled the Virus Well

Brazilian President Bolsonaro denies doing anything wrong in dealing with the coronavirus. “We did the right thing from the start,” Bolsonaro said in a speech in the north of the country.


He was responding there to a report by parliamentarians prepared by Senator Renan Calheiros. He accuses the president of gross negligence and sees the policy as the cause of many deaths.

The president would therefore be guilty of, among other things, inciting crime and crimes against humanity. Calheiros argues that parliament should therefore remove the president. Calheiros led the parliamentary inquiry into the fight against the pandemic in Brazil.

He has experience with impeachment proceedings, having previously been hotly contested as Senate president over a series of affairs and investigations against him over embezzlement, taking bribes and unethical conduct. In 2013, a campaign to impeach Calheiros began via social media, which 1.6 million Brazilians signed. He has not been president of the Senate since 2017.

Bolsonaro is accused of underestimating the virus and taking too few measures. Bolsonaro said, among other things, that the virus was “the little flu” and said that lockdowns are not possible in a country where so many works in the informal sector. The cure would be much worse than the disease, according to Bolsonaro.

The virus has been diagnosed in about 10 percent of 214.5 million Brazilians, and the number of deaths per million inhabitants is among the highest in the world at 2800. During the pandemic’s peak last year, it became apparent that health care, especially in the north, lacked the federally prescribed equipment and was therefore not prepared for such an outbreak.

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