The parliamentary inquiry into the Brazilian authorities’s Covid-19 response kicked off with hours of testimony from former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta — one of a number of who’ve handed by way of the essential function throughout the pandemic.
On Monday, Mandetta didn’t immediately accuse his former boss of mishandling the pandemic, however he described repeated disagreements over easy methods to deal with the contagion. In the early days of the pandemic, Bolsonaro’s administration was reluctant to launch an official info marketing campaign about Covid-19, which prompted Mandetta to start every day press conferences, Mandetta advised the parliamentary fee (CPI).
“There was no communication plan. There was none. The normal thing, when you have an infectious disease, is that you have an institutional campaign. … There was no way to do a campaign, they didn’t want to do it,” Mandetta mentioned.
He additionally mentioned he warned Bolsonaro that as much as 180,000 folks may very well be killed by the virus, if left uncontained, by December 2020. Brazil in the end registered just below that quantity by the begin of December and a complete of 194,949 deaths final 12 months.
As of Tuesday, greater than 411,000 have died in the nation since the starting of the pandemic.
“I warned Bolsonaro systematically of the consequences of not adopting the recommendations of science,” Mandetta mentioned, presenting CPI with a letter from March 28, 2020 through which he warns Bolsonaro about the rising dangers of the coronavirus and “expressly recommends” the president to observe well being ministry suggestions. Mandetta could be fired on April 16.
Bolsonaro has not publicly commented on Mandetta’s testimony to the CPI.
Also beneath senators’ microscope might be the federal authorities’s response to excessive oxygen shortages in the Amazonian metropolis of Manaus at the starting of the 12 months.
Although the CPI will not be a judging physique, it has the energy to collect proof to make the case for impeachment. Bolsonaro’s political destiny may hold in the stability, with the Senate break up in favor of ousting him to usher in former authorities ally and CPI head Omar Aziz as president.
Former well being minister Nelson Teich is scheduled to testify later in the week, as is present Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga. Antonio Barra Torres, head of Brazilian well being company Anvisa, which authorizes vaccines, will seem earlier than the CPI on Thursday.
Another former Health Minister, Army General Eduardo Pazuello, could also be one of the most-anticipated witnesses in the inquiry, having served longer than another well being minister throughout the Covid-19 disaster to this point. His testimony nonetheless has been postponed to May 19, after he knowledgeable the CPI that he had been uncovered to Covid-19 and was in quarantine.
“If the minister is in quarantine, there is no problem waiting 14 days,” mentioned Senator Aziz on Tuesday. “The Army commander has public faith; I don’t need to ask for a (Covid-19) exam, no test. His word will be enough for me.”