Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, should be ashamed of himself.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, he has recklessly ingored the best scientific advice and flouted the soundest public health measures to keep it at bay, thereby exposing Brazilians to the full deadly impact of Covid-19.
A right-wing populist, he has minimized the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distance, much to the detriment of his people, particularly the Indigenous population.
Consequently, there have been 21,600,000 cases in Brazil, and the death toll has needlessly reached catastrophic proportions, having climbed to 605,000. Only the United States has recorded a higher number of fatalities.
Furthermore, the percentage of Brazilians who have been fully vaccinated barely exceeds 50 percent, a paltry figure compared to other developed countries.
Bolsonaro reportedly calculated that Brazil could attain herd immunity by allowing the uncontrolled spread of the virus. Guided by this highly questionable theory, he threw caution to the wind and acted irrationally, downplaying the need to observe common sense safety precautions and delaying the purchase of life-saving vaccines.
His misbegotten strategy lies in shambles today, as a Brazilian congressional inquiry somberly confirms. The final draft of its 1,180 page report, released on October 20, dropped charges of mass murder and genocide against Bolsonaro, but accused him of prosecutable crimes that could be grounds for impeachment.
“We must never forget what happened in this country or the innocent people who lost their lives as a result of the government’s reckless handling of the pandemic,” says the report in a damning indictment his unforgivable negligence. “By allowing the virus to proceed … (Bolsonaro) caused death and suffering …”
Senator Omar Aziz, the inquiry’s president, charges that Bolsonaro has “committed many crimes” and should “pay” for them. Aziz’s colleague, Randolfe Rodrigues, believes Bolsonaro should be sent to prison for a lengthy period of time.
Being tone deaf and impervious to reason, Bolsonaro lambasted the report, saying it had produced nothing but “hatred and resentment.” “We know that we bear absolutely no guilt,” he added arrogantly. “We know we did the right thing from the very start.”
Regrettably, he is unlikely to be prosecuted. Brazil’s attorney general, Bolsonaro’s ally, will not agree to a trial. And the head of the lower house in Congress is resisting attempts to launch impeachment proceedings.
Which means that Bolsonaro will probably evade the legal consequences of his criminal recklessness.
However, due to his utterly foolish approach to the pandemic, Bolsonaro’s chances of reelection have been whittled down considerably. Needless to say, he richly deserves to go down to defeat ignominiously.