Brazil's Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro for spreading vaccine misinformation

WION Web Team
Brasilia, BrazilUpdated: Dec 04, 2021, 09:18 AM IST


Story highlights

After Bolsonaro's misleading statement, both Facebook and YouTube temporarily suspended his account

Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered a probe into President Jair Bolsonaro's comments linking COVID-19 vaccines to AIDS.

''People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are developing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) much faster than expected,'' he had said during a livestream on multiple social media platforms. After his misleading statement, both Facebook and YouTube temporarily suspended his account.

In response, the country's Supreme Court said he has ''used the modus operandi of mass dissemination schemes in social networks.''

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, COVID-19 vaccines approved by health regulators are safe for most people, including those living with HIV, the virus that causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome known as AIDS.

Bolsonaro's popularity is at a low of 22 percent, weighed down by his controversial downplaying of Covid-19 and the stalled economic recovery from the pandemic, which has claimed more than 600,000 lives in Brazil.

A Senate investigative committee, known in Portuguese as a CPI, which found in October, had requested Brazilian Supreme Court to punish Bolsonaro for crimes against humanity.

''In order for judicial supervision to be carried out in an effective and comprehensive manner, it is indispensable that documents be presented showing the status of the investigation in question,'' said Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

The CPI has handed over its roughly 1,300-page report to the office of Brazil's prosecutor-general (PGR) Augusto Aras.

However, since Aras was appointed to his position by Bolsonaro himself, any significant action is not expected.

(With inputs from agencies)