A debate organized by the European Parliament on Thursday (29) to discuss the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America has turned into a session of criticism of the “denial” and “necropolitics” of the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the impact of Covid in the region and the possibilities for the European Union (EU) to help governments in their efforts to fight the virus.
Discussions focused on analyzing the relationship between the high level of social and economic inequalities in the region, as well as the uncontrolled advance of the pandemic, but criticism from the Brazilian leader dominated the session. “By action or inaction, Bolsonaro’s obituary constitutes a crime against humanity which must be investigated,” said Spanish MEP Miguel Urbán.
Another Spanish MEP, Jordi Solé, warned that the Brazilian president of the management of the health crisis could “transform the country into an incubator of new strains” of the coronavirus. For the Portuguese legislator Isabel Santos, the situation in Brazil is more difficult because of the “irrational denial of Bolsonaro”, which she accuses of “doing everything so that the population is not vaccinated”.
“It is not a mistake, but a deliberate irresponsibility,” he added.
Conservative lawmakers who participated in the debate also voiced criticism, but did not mention the name of the Brazilian president. For Portuguese Paulo Rangel, the impact of the pandemic has been exacerbated “by political errors and negative opinions, as is the case in Brazil”.
Spanish MEP Leopoldo López said it was necessary “to underline the denial of seriousness on the part of the governors of some of the most populous countries”. The European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Mairead McGuiness, for her part, stressed that the EU had already sent 38 million doses of Covid vaccine to 30 Latin American countries via Covax, the WHO’s international mechanism for supply of vaccines to developing countries.
The Brazilian Senate this week installed a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the government’s performance in the pandemic, at a time when the death toll in the country is approaching 400,000. Since the start of the pandemic in Brazil in February 2020, Bolsonaro has opposed social isolation measures, rejected the use of a mask, questioned the effectiveness of vaccines and defended the use drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, without proven efficacy against the disease. .