Bolsonaro fires official after graft claims as impeachment calls grow
01 Jul 2021

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired a health official on Wednesday after he reportedly asked for a bribe in a coronavirus vaccine deal, the latest graft accusation to rock the government and spark fresh calls for the president’s impeachment.

With over half a million COVID-19 deaths, Brazilians are fuming over missed opportunities to buy vaccines. A Senate probe has unearthed alleged corruption, with health ministry insiders and pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers allegedly seeking to fast-track and overpay for an Indian vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech.

On Wednesday, when Brazil recorded 2,081 new COVID-19 deaths, federal prosecutors and the federal police launched a criminal probe into the Indian vaccine deal, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The scandal has triggered fresh calls for impeachment against Bolsonaro, a divisive right-winger, who has underplayed the severity of the pandemic, railed against lockdowns, pushed unproven remedies and sowed vaccine doubts.

By Pedro Fonseca and Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters, 30 June 2021

Read more at Reuters

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