The Guardian view on Bolsonaro’s Covid strategy: murderous folly | Editorial

2 months ago 42

To picture the Brazilian senate’s 1,180 leafage report connected Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid pandemic arsenic damning would beryllium inadequate. Formally approved connected Tuesday by a cross-party committee, the study chronicles not conscionable atrocious enactment but wilful, lethal acts of folly, carried retired by a Donald Trump mini-me who sacrificed lives connected the altar of his ain unfounded presumptions. It recommends that President Bolsonaro look transgression indictments for a catalogue of actions and omissions that could person led to arsenic galore arsenic 300,000 avoidable deaths.

As Mr Bolsonaro presided implicit a decease toll which is present the second-highest successful the satellite (after the United States), the study finds helium deliberately sent his citizens implicit the apical without defences successful the conflict against Covid. Other countries scrambled to bargain up vaccines erstwhile they became available; the president delayed for fractional a twelvemonth portion ruthlessly pursuing a herd immunity strategy. He himself claims not to person yet been vaccinated. When Brazilians suffered a grounds emergence successful deaths during a 24-hour play past March, their president told them to “stop whining”. The wearing of masks and societal distancing was treated by Mr Bolsonaro arsenic a benignant of weakness successful the look of what helium described arsenic a “little flu”, and helium trolled determination governments’ attempts to present Covid restrictions. By statesmanlike decree helium tried to support businesses specified arsenic gyms and spas unfastened astatine the tallness of the pandemic. Emulating his governmental leader successful Washington, Mr Bolsonaro has disseminated misinformation online and recommended quack treatments for the virus, successful the teeth of each technological evidence. This week, Facebook and YouTube removed a video by him which falsely linked vaccines to the Aids virus. President Bolsonaro’s guiding doctrine during the pandemic is champion summed up by the remark helium made to journalists a twelvemonth ago: “All of america are going to dice 1 time … There is nary constituent successful escaping from that, successful escaping from reality. We person to halt being a state of sissies.”

The legislature study justly describes Mr Bolsonaro’s effect to the Covid pandemic arsenic “macabre”. Its allegation of crimes against humanity would request to beryllium pursued by the planetary transgression court. Senators are calling connected Brazilian prosecutors to effort the president connected charges including misuse of nationalist funds and charlatanism. Impeachment proceedings would besides beryllium possible, fixed the inquiry’s conclusions. But portion helium remains successful office, Mr Bolsonaro has supporters successful cardinal positions who volition guarantee that nary of this is apt to happen. Already a run is underway to characterise the study arsenic politically motivated, up of elections owed successful a year’s time.

The tribunal of nationalist sentiment is different matter. Hearings during the enquiry person been televised and the president’s canvass ratings person plummeted. The lasting interaction of this devastating indictment of a president whitethorn beryllium to shred Mr Bolsonaro’s credibility, suffer him the adjacent predetermination and permission him susceptible to aboriginal prosecution. That is an result devoutly to beryllium wished for. It mightiness besides beryllium of immoderate consolation to those millions of grieving relatives, whose bereavement was treated with a cavalier disregard by this unworthy person of a large nation.