The Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, is facing allegations of falsifying his Covid-19 vaccination records. The Brazilian police searched Bolsonaro’s house in Brasilia over suspicions that he may have falsified his Covid-19 vaccination records to enter the US. As part of the operation, the police seized the mobile phones of Bolsonaro and his wife and arrested some of his close associates.
Bolsonaro denies any wrongdoing and opposes vaccines. He has kept his vaccination records private and spread false information on the vaccine and its alleged side effects. Under the new government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, an official deemed Bolsonaro’s vaccination record a matter of public interest, revealing that he had been vaccinated in 2021. However, police suspect the record may have been falsified and conducted a search of his home on Wednesday.
Federal police suspect that “false data” was added to the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 vaccination records to enable individuals to obtain vaccination certificates for entry into the United States. Bolsonaro denied altering any records during a statement following the search. He told reporters, “I did not falsify anything on my behalf.”
Bolsonaro claims he didn’t receive the Covid vaccine. False data was supposedly added to the records while he was still president between November and December of last year, around the time he travelled to Florida. Lula da Silva was inaugurated shortly after.
During his visit, the US hasn’t commented on Bolsonaro’s visa or vaccination records. Upon returning to Brazil on March 30th, Bolsonaro had to appear before the police twice in connection with two separate investigations.
One investigation is regarding his alleged involvement in the storming of the Brazilian Congress by his supporters in January, while the other is regarding his potential illegal import and possession of expensive jewellery gifted to him and his wife by Saudi Arabia in 2019.
Bolsonaro’s Covid-19 response has been controversial, with Brazil suffering one of the worst outbreaks of the virus in the world. He has frequently downplayed the severity of the virus and resisted calls for stricter measures to curb its spread. The pandemic has claimed the lives of over 400,000 Brazilians, with the country still struggling to contain the spread of the virus.