Tuesday, May 18

The Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office asks to remove Bolsonaro from the management of Covid-19


Correspondent in Sao Paulo

Updated:

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Brazil reached a health collapse. One in four people who die in the world in recent days is Brazilian. Faced with this tragic situation, the deputy attorney general of the public prosecutor’s office, Lucas Furtado, has asked the Court of Accounts of the Union (TCU) to dismiss the President Jair Bolsonaro of its administrative and hierarchical functions over the Ministries of Health, Economy and the Civil House, and others, identified by their omission in the crisis that has led to the death of more than 290,000 people.

Furtado’s request is an attempt to remove Bolsonaro and make way for the vice president, Hamilton Mourao, to assume the management of the pandemic. The deputy prosecutor recommends that Bolsonaro and other of his subordinates be identified as “responsible for the inertia and omission of the execution of public health policies in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Last week, Bolsonaro changed for the fourth time since the start of the pandemic, a year ago, his Minister of Health, replacing the general Eduardo Pazuello, by the cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga, which in his first days in office already said that it will be necessary to visit hospitals to see if it is true that hospitals are in collapse and that patients are dying of coronavirus. The perception of the press and analysts is that Pazuello’s change is an attempt to protect Bolsonaro for his responsibility, but that nothing changes in a policy in which he continues to be in charge.

“It cannot be argued that the entire federal health care structure, with financial, patrimonial and human resources, will have an unquestionable damage to the public coffers if it does not fulfill its function of serving the population at the time of greatest and greatest flagrant necessity, “argued the prosecutor.

Variants and mutations

With the constancy of some 2,800 deaths per day in the last week, the coronavirus in Brazil advances at a gallop, going in the opposite direction of much of the world. There are almost 12 million cases and 290,314 deaths, second country after the United States, but with the potential to lead if it does not control its level of contagion, which has risen with the birth of variants and mutations in its territory.

“It is unacceptable that this entire structure remains inert due to disputes and political whims in the face of the suffering of the population in the face of foreseeable and avoidable factors,” said Furtado, protecting his request in an article of the court law that allows provisional suspension of a person in charge “If there are sufficient indications that in the exercise of his functions he may delay or hinder the performance of the audit or inspection, cause further damage to public funds or make compensation impossible”.

In his petition, Furtado also asks the court of auditors to recognize “the legitimacy, administrative competence and authority” of Vice President Mourao, to appoint new ministers in the most sensitive areas.

Bolsonaro’s omission

After a year since the start of the pandemic in Brazil, Bolsonaro continues to be more concerned about criticizing the measures of social isolation to which he attributes the bad economic situation of the country. This week, Bolsonaro entered with an action in the Supreme Court to ask that the curfew measures implemented in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, and in the capital, Brasilia, be suspended, against the current of specialists who recommend that and other measures, such as confinement.

Without support from the Bolsonaro government, states and municipalities are dictating their own policies. All Brazilian states are in a state of collapse, with waiting lines to enter intensive care centers, both in public and private hospitals. The Brazilian media have reported frightening information, such as the possibility that oxygen or medical supplies for the intubation processes may be lacking again.

The Government has been accused of harming the vaccine purchase processes, of supplies and of having sent to public hospitals, masks without the necessary requirements to protect the doctors. Bolsonaro, who only began to advise the use of masks and vaccines in the last month, has preferred to recommend a cocktail of remedies that he considers preventive, but that do not have the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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