Brazilian Supreme Court Orders Bolsonaro’s Pandemic Countermeasures Investigation

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian Supreme Court judge ordered the Senate to investigate the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, and the court ruled that the church could be barred from reopening during a pandemic. The judiciary threatened to further strain tensions between Presidents Jail Bolsonaro.

The Senate investigation order by Judge Luis Robert Barroso was issued just minutes after the entire court upheld the authority of the local government to prevent the opening of churches and other places of worship.

Bolsonaro downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, arguing that the economic and emotional consequences of the closure would hurt more Brazilians than the pandemic. He occasionally struggled with checks and balances from other branches of the government and repeatedly criticized the Supreme Court to support the power of the governor and mayor to establish restrictions on economic and personal activities during the pandemic. .. Last year he attended a protest against the court.

A conservative president, a proud Christian who supports some of the country’s major evangelical leaders, is imposed locally, saying that health professionals are urgently needed to stop the spread of the virus. Opposed to blockades and other restrictions. Brazil has been the epicenter of the pandemic crisis in recent weeks, accounting for more than a quarter of the world’s deaths from COVID-19.

“This study calls on scientists across Brazil to testify and show how irresponsible the president’s remarks were. It will be more severe for him. Public opinion will be heard in the Senate,” said Sao Paulo. Carlos Melo, a professor of political science at the University of Inspel, said. “It was inevitable. It’s time for the political system to react.”

The required 27 senators had already signed a request for a parliamentary investigation into the administration’s response to the pandemic, as the country’s death toll increased and three of the 345,000 senators were senators. But to move forward, it required the approval of the Senate Chairman. Rodrigo Pacheco. Pacheco, who gained leadership in January with the support of Bolsonaro, was refraining from launching an investigation.

“That wasn’t the moment. After the judge’s order, Pacheco told reporters in Brasilia.” This investigation at this point would be out of scope. It crowned the country’s failure in this pandemic. May do. “

Pacheco could inevitably advance the 2022 presidential election, where Bolsonaro is expected to seek re-election, attack opposition senators and accuse him of committing a crime He said he had sex.

The Senate may consider how the government has dealt with the COVID-19 crisis and level new criticisms in Bolsonaro. If the Senator determines that there is a criminal in the response, the Senate must ask the Attorney General to initiate its own investigation.

The decision of the place of worship does not prevent the local government from allowing the reopening of the church, and some have already done so.

However, the court acted after Judge Casio Marquez, the only member of the court appointed by Bolsonaro, allowed churches across Brazil to reopen on Saturday, as long as they followed the health protocol. Many churches were held on Easter Sunday, but some did not observe social distance.

Marquez was rejected by his colleague with a climax of 9-2 votes on Thursday.

Judge Gilmar Mendes said during the vote that Brazil has become an “international paria on medical issues.”

“Brazil, once a role model for public health in vaccination campaigns, is in this very embarrassing situation today,” he said.