President Jair Bolsonaro
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- A Brazilian health official was fired after reports that he had asked for bribes in a vaccine deal.
- Brazil records more new Covid-19 cases every day than any other country.
- The anger at missing the opportunity to purchase a coronavirus vaccine is increasing.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired a health ministry official on Wednesday after a newspaper reported that the official had asked for bribes in vaccine deals, which shocked the government during an investigation into the pandemic response. The latest corruption allegations.
There are more than 500,000 Covid-19 deaths and more new cases in Brazil every day, which makes Brazil angry at missing the opportunity to purchase a coronavirus vaccine.
An investigation by the Senate found suspected corruption in vaccine procurement activities, triggering a new call for Bolsonaro’s impeachment.
In a TV commentary during a visit to the border city of Punta Pola on Wednesday, Bolsonaro publicly opposed the Senate investigation.
“They can’t touch us,” he said. “It won’t be a lie… they will let us get out of here.”
He did not comment on the firing of officials, Roberto Ferreira Dias, the head of logistics at the Ministry of Health, or the allegations against him.
Tuesday, Brazil suspends contract India’s Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is worth 1.6 billion reais (US$321 million) after previous accusations of excessive internal pressure within the ministry.
Bharat and the government denied wrongdoing.
The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Tuesday evening that Dias had suggested bribing $1 per dose at the dinner to discuss different orders for 400 million vaccines, citing a representative of a medical supply company.
The Ministry of Health said that Diaz’s dismissal was decided on Tuesday morning, but it did not resolve the allegations.
Diaz could not be reached immediately for comment.
The head of the Senate investigation is already investigating suspected violations in a separate vaccine contract, and they said they will call witnesses on the new allegations.
Ricardo Barros, the head of the government coalition in the House of Commons, was quoted by Folha as recommending Dias for his position in January 2019, but denied that he had done so.
“He was not my choice,” Barros, the former health minister and power broker of the centrist group, wrote on social media.